Over the past few years I have developed a tendency towards starting online projects with gusto and then dropping them a few months in. I wonder sometimes if it’s the non-committal nature of the intangible Intarwebz that makes it so but, more likely, it’s that I’m in a bit of an activist limbo and haven’t fully found my new passion. I know bits and pieces of it, but that burning-in-my-belly fire of passion that comes with having a truly cohesive mission has been sorely lacking.
That said, SansLux has never been far from my mind, even though I haven’t been actively blogging. Truth is, it’s become so much of my mind that I haven’t had the energy to put to words what the rest of me is putting to action. (This is a strange turn of events for the writerly likes of me.) I have taken a break on giving up the little things since Week 5. However, in exchange for this little kindness to myself, I have been preparing to give up much larger things. These things are my house, 90% of its contents, my privacy, and ultimately my job, employer-paid health insurance, the lifestyle to which I’ve become accustomed and possibly my country, family and friends.
I have been grappling with concepts like “responsible adult behavior” and “the sensible thing to do.” I have been struggling with the idea of going ‘backwards’ financially — renting instead of owning, shirking stable employment in a toxic environment for the scary waters of freelance and self-employment. I have been considering a return to student life, school loans and an uncertain future in a possibly dying field. Instead of focusing on preparing myself for lucrative employment, I have been shifting my focus towards preparing myself with a greater toolset for activism. I have been looking away from the illusions of future safety and security and towards to the realities of present-tense, ethical and joyful living — a trade-off which inevitably hits one directly in the wallet.
Today a friend came over and we tackled my garage — shifting, sorting, stacking and boxing. I freecycled art supplies to a man who works with differently-abled adults. I sold a huge bookshelf to two women for their newly forming mental health clinic. I let go of belongings that represented the beginnings of finding myself as a holistic human being. The keep pile (as opposed to the dump pile and the sell pile) is minuscule by contrast. I am sloughing off years and years of belonging — it to me, me to it, whatever ‘it’ may be.
Most of the furniture items in my house have already sold, even though they are still here. Friends kind enough to wait until I move have already tagged these items with their names. I am surrounded by things that are no longer mine, or things that soon won’t be. When I move, I will own only what fits in my bedroom and a few boxes of memories that will be stored graciously at my Mother’s home.
Tomorrow my living room rug will sell. Tomorrow, I will go through my shed and pull out boxes and bags of luxuries I don’t even look at, much less use. I will put these to use again in the lives of those around me. And next weekend, I will go through each room of my home and do the same. Weekend 3, I will sell my life via the grandest yard sale I’ve ever had. What’s left will be donated or saved for one more sale. And then on April 5th, my house itself will go on the market.
When it sells, I will join a shared living space with minimal cost (and minimal privacy/luxury.) There is already talk of chickens and gardening, greywater collection and community dinners. I will refocus my efforts towards piecemeal income and the success of my budding, green business. When I am confident that I can sustain myself, I will leave my newly toxic, misogynistic day job (Joyfully!!!!) and focus my efforts towards the larger, scarier prospect of leaving my country, my family and my friends in 2011.
In the meantime — each day, each piece of property parted with, each bit of skin shed is leaving me pink and raw and open. Each breath of wind gives me goosebumps, each patch of sun is the universe giving me its jacket, each drop of rain is a sweet kiss on my shoulder — and I’m walking, hand-in-hand with what’s next like I trust it. Which I do.
More to come.