I am a minimalist. I try to have few things, I try to reduce my dependence on things, and – most importantly – I try not to invest emotional resonance into things. I am not perfect in this regard, of course. I do own things, some of which I find very useful. I have some things that aren’t useful at all, but I like them and so I keep them. And I have a few things that carry emotional weight.
But on that last charge, I have a secret weapon. Once an object carries emotional weight, I do something new with it.
I look for where it will go next.
Try this. When you are about to end a chapter, no matter how great or how small, look for an object in your life that represents that chapter. Your ID badge from a job you’re leaving. The ignition key from the car that got totaled. A trinket from an ex-partner.
Invest those emotions into that object. Hold it as you imagine the scenes that make up that part of your story. Hold the weight of it.
Then, take it somewhere else and let it go. Leave it as a treasure, cast it into the sea, burn it on a camping trip. But close that chapter.
This isn’t about destruction. This is about acceptance. It’s about acknowledging that not everything that has ever been a part of you must remain so forever, and that things that leave you still shape you.
Your life is a series of changes, every day and every year. To cling is to make the ride painful when it should be joyous. You cannot keep anything. You can decide where you leave it.