Have you ever been standing in the path of a wave? Have you ever been submerged unexpectedly? Have you ever dawdled somewhere or with someone because definitively leaving felt like too sudden a commitment?
It's a weird feeling. A series of weird feelings. Trying to subtly tell someone the conversation is over so you can go away, but feeling too awkward to just say you're going. One of the silliest little things. It's good to teach yourself how to leave.
This post is about leaving in a very general sense. Not necessarily leaving temporarily or permanently, but more being comfortable with the idea of not needing a fixed space. It's interesting how attached we are to our homes, and how we as individuals extend our sense of person-hood out into the space around us. But it feels good to exist more within yourself than outside yourself.
So here are some thoughts on that:
- Keep a dedicated space for the things you need to take with you when you leave, so you're ready to go without dawdling. And similarly, it helps to keep a neat bag (or a few for different purposes).
- Try to have a dress sense that is generally appropriate for all occasions. I used to sleep in my school uniform a lot after all, so you don't necessarily need pyjamas.
- Minimise the tools you need to have fun and work and create things. This is one reason I like to play around with drawing stuff digitally, and carry a small camera and an e-reader. I've even sewn my own lightweight sock-like cases for electronics, which helps to save space. And I have some very little notebooks and pens for super portability. I also keep handy lip balm containers for travelling with a little bit of moisturiser or other things that occupy bigger containers.
- Attach more sentimentality to your experiences and memories rather than objects wherever possible.
- Don't do things out of politeness when they are actually harmful to you.
- Know that many physical possessions will eventually expire. Make peace with it and don't worry about the inevitable. Even if your favourite piece of clothing gets worn out, it can be exciting because you get to go buy a new one.
- Remind yourself that you don't need to look a certain way. You don't need to brush your hair or wear earrings to go somewhere.
- Remember that you don't need to keep anything you don't want to. This includes photos, friends, and family heirlooms if necessary.
- Doing scary things will teach you a lot and make you stronger a lot of the time.
- Don't spend too much of your life deciding.