Taking It All Off: In Praise Of Stripping Your Life And Your Mind

2010 November 19

“So, was there some sort of life-changing event that prompted this?”

The salon receptionist was asking about the fact that I’d arrived for my hair appointment with a bob that was close to shoulder-length and was leaving with a pixie cut. It’s short. Like, androgynous Dickensian waif short.

Photo by EduardoZ

I wanted to prop my elbow the counter and sigh, “Well, honey child, lemme tell you about it.” But I’m not Whoopi Goldberg in Ghost and I’m not even tall enough to get my arm up on the counter in the first place (it’s really high, okay?).

I suppose I could have mentioned my impending birthday (It’s Monday, so you still have time to bake me a cake or buy me a pony if you really hurry), but that wasn’t it. I’ve been purging (no, not like that) a lot of stuff lately – papers, furniture, assumptions. Think of it as a material and intellectual strip show if that floats your boat.

I recommend it. I’m not talking about the cult of minimalism or the self-actualization competition of who can live with the fewest possessions, but the need to take a periodic look at what we’re surrounding ourselves with and ask, Do I need this? Is having it/believing it making my life easier or more difficult? Could I get along without it? What could I replace it with?

Sometimes, things are well and truly broken and no amount of duct tape and sentimentality will fix them. And sometimes, they might still work, just not for YOU – who you are now or who you want to be in the future. When that’s the case, it’s okay to drag them out to the curb and leave ’em for someone else to find. When you’re overcommitted, underresourced, with a head and house full of stuff that’s just crowding you out, there isn’t a magic recipe to maintaining it all, there’s just the reality that something has to give, preferably before you end up on an episode of Hoarders or checked into Cedars-Sinai with a killer case of “exhaustion.” Maybe it’s your pride, maybe it’s your plan to repaint the entire apartment before Thanksgiving, maybe it’s the six boxes of spare computer parts that have accompanied you on every move for the last decade. Better a few hard drives than your sanity, ya dig?

Bonus points if you get a cute new coif out of the deal.

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One Response
  1. 2010 November 20
    Coggie baby! permalink

    I hereby dump the puffballs that have assailed my every turn the past seven days.