Sunday, August 30, 2015

Unfriending My Clutter

I'm a notorious clutterbug.

I had one friend in high school who used to offer to clean my room for was that bad. Ha. Looking at my dresser from where I'm sitting now, I can see the ol' habit in action: stray jewelry, two bottles of sunscreen, a pile of Canadian coins and a bottle of Febreze lying on its side. (I'm super into Febreze -- I even carry a travel-size bottle when I travel. I swear by it.)

Thankfully, I've been in a decluttery mood this summer.

Obviously, aside from the aforementioned random treasures strewn across my dresser. I realized a couple months ago that I hadn't cleaned out my closet in the entire two years I've lived in my apartment. Translation: randoms piles of random crap. So I attacked it with a vengeance. I donated maybe a solid half of my clothing to Goodwill. It was like once I started, I couldn't stop. I had 8 pairs of sweatpants. EIGHT. And now my closet is beautiful. It's minimal. Getting dressed in the morning used to be somewhat overwhelming because my closet was overflowing -- now it's fun again. It's accessible.

Anyway, this isn't actually all about clothing. I may have lost some of you already. STICK WITH ME.

The thing is, the decluttery mood extended to more than my wardrobe this summer. Between June and now, I've unfriended approximately......well, a thousand people on Facebook. More than half of my friend list. Seriously, just random people from back in college, old jobs, old social circles, etc., who I don't actually have a relationship with now. Ex boyfriends. Ex boyfriends' wives. (Why did I ever do that to myself?) As I started combing through the list of people (which is actually a nice idle activity to accomplish while watching Law & Order in the background) (OK you can choose your own show)....I realized how insane the whole thing was. The whole "having 2,000 friends on Facebook" thing. Who were these people? Some of them, I couldn't even honestly remember their names or faces. Those ones were easy to unfriend. I'm sure neither of us will be worse off or lacking anything for the separation. Truthfully, I doubt many of them will notice because odds are they don't really remember me either. The more I pruned the list, the more particular I became. Did I remember this person? Do their posts or comments add any positive value to my life? If we saw each other at a party, would we happily chat or would we feel awkward that we had been Facebook friends for years but really had no relationship to speak of?

I pruned and I pruned and I pruned. I even got a bit overzealous and accidentally unfriended a couple people I didn't mean to. Yipes. Fixing that.

The end result is that I feel amazing. Much like my closet, my life feels cleaner, and more intentional.

I've done so (SO!) much work the past couple years in pruning out the spiritual clutter in my life, in being intentional in that arena. And I am always better for these choices to clean out the corners. When I scroll through my Facebook feed now, I see only what I want to see. I see people and topics I care about. It's much like looking into my closet -- like I used to have a hard time letting go of all that unwanted clothing and old shoes "because you never know....", much like I used to look at my extensive "friend" list and not want to let any of it go. Now I'm getting less, but I'm getting exactly what I want. And there is so much power in that -- to a degree I never recognized when I was a bit younger. I also upped my privacy settings. The thing is, when you open your whole life to the world like that, you give people permission -- you give them permission to pass judgment on your choices, your words, your look, your life. For better or worse, you open yourself up to that. And you open yourself up to the anxiety of worrying about that, whether or not it's actually happening. And nobody needs that. We really just don't need that. I love blogging and will always do it with a level of transparency that feels comfortable for me, but there is something to be said for being selective with who you fully lay the details of your life out for.

It's a lesson I hope I keep learning and applying as I grow older -- the idea that less really, truly can be more. (Maybe one of these days I'll apply it to that clutter pile on my dresser. Baby steps.)

Signed, the girl who is slowly becoming her introverted father. ;)

No comments: