The Big Purge

Image courtesy of under Creative Commons

Image courtesy of under Creative Commons

Hi. My name is Susanna, and I’m a recovering perfectionist. I’m also in the middle of a purge. My sister calls this a mid-life crisis. She’s wrong. She has no idea what I’m capable of. This? This is just a simple purge, a cleansing. I’ve decided a lot of things in the house must go. The living room furniture. The dining room set and china cabinet. And almost everything in the china cabinet. The china. The champagne flutes. The tea set. The lead crystal vases. The candlestick holders. (The cake stands stay. I love my cake stands.)

I need to get all these things out of the house because none of them are me, and all of this Not-Me is suffocating me. I need to get back to me. The formal dining room set with the china cabinet. The sofa and loveseat. The china. All so sensible. So proper. So practical. This is what we’re supposed to fill our homes with when we get married. So I did.

But see, I’m not sensible nor proper nor practical. I hate being surrounded every day with these reminders that I was supposed to be sensible and proper. I grew up in a culture and family that taught me I am supposed to be practical and sensible and ladylike and proper. I was supposed to be agreeable and obedient. The problem is, I’m not. I never was. I was forced into this box of societal norms and expectations, and I was a good pleaser. I was a good perfectionist. And every now and then, when my feisty self slipped out, people would roll their eyes or yell at me; and I’d tuck my soul back in and sulk away.

I did what was expected, but inside I was angry and depressed. Because I couldn’t be me. So I grew up and went to good schools. I threw fun parties and impressed friends in pre-Pinterest days with fun creations and delicious meals. I held a good job and got married and bought a house in the suburbs. I dressed my kids well and made organic baby food. I was a Type A perfectionist.

Through the years, it became harder to keep my soul tucked in. And like a butterfly unfolding from the cocoon, I slowly unfurled and hung upside down drying my wings for a bit. And slowly started to fly. I stopped apologizing for being absurd and frequently inappropriate. I started embracing my impulsive side, my brave streak. I stopped caring about what was expected of me. I started honoring my true self. The more I cared about myself, the less I cared about a lot of other things.

So I don’t want to come home to reminders of my inauthentic self. I want to come home to me. To a dining room table that calls to me. To mismatched dining chairs that resonate with me. To improper, not sensible, completely irrational and impulsive marks of me.

And it’s amazing how much stuff we amass through the years. Slowly through the years we bring things in and tuck them into cabinets and nooks and crannies. Wine glasses, martini glasses, champagne flutes, espresso cups, serving platters, gravy boats. We rarely use many of these things, but we keep them, just in case. You never know when you’ll need it, the practical self says. It’s amazing how each of these things crowd the house and close in on your soul though. These sensible, practical things are suffocating me. I want to open up, and exhale and expand into my space.

So if we have a celebration, we may be toasting champagne out of wine glasses and coffee mugs. Because if my friends will be here, they know me. They won’t care if things aren’t proper and perfect. Because I’m neither. And that’s part of my charm.

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19 Responses to The Big Purge

  1. Kudos Susanna for being true to yourself. I’m still learning to be more aligned with my joys and highest values too. I might have some items to purge myself. Happy purging!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anonymous says:

    So agree with your blog today! I did a major purge when I went out on my own about 6 years ago and then another when I moved across the country this summer. Life is much simpler and more about the important things (family). I love my eclectic bits and pieces that remain; each item has a story about why it is important for me to have it in my home.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Anonymous says:

    I ca breathe easier just reading this.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wendy says:

    That is part of your charm, I agree!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Karen Lanser says:

    LOVE THIS Susanna! You’ve tickled the deepest part of me that has been wanting to join you! My inner rebel is awakened … just need to hush the scared little gal that wants to hold onto everything … just in case! Thank you again for the inspiration! I’m reblogging …. with heartfelt enthusiasm! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • OH!! I am SO glad to hear I’ve touched you!! We can be scared and brave simultaneously! 🙂 I’ve found it helpful to take a page from the Japanese author who is popular now about purging…Look at each piece you need to purge, and thank it for it’s role and presence in your life so that you can let it go. Keep the things that excite your soul, that resonate with you. Your environment matters in your self care! 🙂 Oh please keep me posted on your purge!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Karen Lanser says:

    Reblogged this on Miracles! Your Center for Well-Being Inc. and commented:
    I am re-blogging this exceptional post with oodles of enthusiasm because it has tickled and awakened the deepest part of my inner rebel … I just need to compassionately and gently shush my inner scaredy cat that wants to hold onto everything … just in case! I expect this will speak to so many others too!

    Liked by 1 person

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