In the past three years I’ve changed homes for so many times. First move was during my latest (and last) job, when the owners of the apartment I was living in, in Timisoara, decided to sell. Having one month to leave and my future home for few months being then to be an one bedroom apartment of a friend (she herself living there), I had the idea and heart, for the first time in my life, to pack just what I knew I had worn or used in the last two years. Everything else was clearly to be just unnecessary baggage, things I got attached to and never knew to let go from various stupid reason.
I sorted things down on the set criteria, called my girlfriends to try and choose what suited them from the unnecessary things, donated the unwanted ones to charity houses (many of them with the original labels) and in the end still had 30 boxes (most of them with clothes and footwear) to pack for myself and store in my employing company’s warehouse. Tough job, I can tell you.
Moving back to my childhood home
The five months of co-living also brought me new group of friends, new experiences, new lessons to learn and some fast steps in my evolution. A new vision on my life and the meaning of my life had risen. Where was I going to, what was important to me, who did I want around, what was my mission in life… so many questions in such a short time.
It suddenly came to me the idea that I was on a wrong road and I needed some tips to find the right one. Wrong job, wrong relationships, wrong town… Where had I lost my way to fulfilling my dreams? There was only a place where I could find all the answers (that was what I felt at that moment): my childhood home. So I quitted my job in marketing in a group of IT companies and moved back to Drobeta Turnu Severin, a beautiful town on the bank of Danube, very close to the Romanian-Serbian border.
I moved the boxes with three cars and, in the end, still having my car full when moving myself to Drobeta. Somewhere in my folders I still have a selfie in the car full of boxes and with a small aloe plant crowded in the car beverage holder, the only empty space left. And two more pictures that at that moment I interpreted as signs: a cloudy one at the exit of Timisoara and a sunny landscape at the entrance to Drobeta. Dear me, still believing that eyes don’t see what one wants them to see 🙂
Life in DTS
Back home, I stored all my boxes in my mother’s living room and I settled down there myself. Six months had passed there thinking, blinding my mind, remembering, forgetting, crying, laughing, loving, hating, blaming, forgiving… and building my new road. After the first two months, my soul was empty. Empty as a soaring leaf. That was the period when I created my first two complete (necklaces, earrings, bracelets) jewelry collections: Soaring and Trilogy. I know realize that both collections are about leafs and colors and soaring.
After six months, my grandmother died at almost 92, after a life that she had loved with all her heart. The apartment that my grandparents lived in since I was three was left to me. Now empty, I had to take a decision about it: to sell, to rent or to move in. I wanted a fresh start, in a place where to grow my soul and my dreams, so I took the third option. I renovated and moved in. Sick of carrying boxes, I made a new sorting, this time only clothes. I counted 17 pairs of jeans, 12 pairs of colored pants… 17 pairs of jeans! Various blues, but jeans! 17! Besides two thirds of jeans, I said goodbye to more than half of my wardrobe: office clothes that I knew I would never get to need to wear again. Cause I would never work for somebody else for the rest of my life; that was what I felt then in every cell of my body; and that is what I feel today.
In that apartment made to my soul (and to my business) I had my rehab – not sabbatical – year. A year of letting go all the unnecessary me. A year of setting the proper dreams, steps, needs and values for a new me. After a year of self consciousness and love, I finally felt there was room for someone else. I set this goal and achieved it in less than one month. But he was in Timisoara. Funny funny life. We had since then a year of running between Drobeta and Timisoara, a tiring year of living in two places and no place at all.
Under the burden of the imbalances I started to experience, at the beginning of 2018 we decided to settle. The winner (for now) was Dumbravita, a village near Timisoara, that has the infrastructure of a city (being an extension of Timisoara, almost a residential neighborhood) but still keeps the advantages of countryside (fresh air, birds chirp, buildings not higher than two floors, enough space between building not to feel suffocated and more relaxed people). We have moved at the second floor of a new building, in an open space 45 sqm apartment with many windows and light but few storage space. We furnished it from scratch with functional minimalist furniture, but still not enough for two with personal stuff and personal home work necessities. So a new sorting was absolutely necessary. Mine, of course, because my personal stuff took three quarters of the common space.
New separation and the revelation
I had to let go, again, half of my stuff: towels and bed sheets (all new, because in the past I made stocks for World War III, as it seems… what else to do one person with eight shower towels and more than twenty for hands), jeans again (excepting a smooth boyfriend pair… I started hating jeans, I must confess; I struggle to escape de suffocating crowd, and jeans are already an uniform), clothes that I’ve got addicted to in the past years (let’s dare to be someone else, even that may mean to be wrong from time to time) and a loooot of sportswear (no, I’m not a sporty girl, I train more in my mind than in real life, because I always need the perfect trainer, perfect gym, perfect mood, perfect weather to leave home and a tone of ambition and perseverance to respect a schedule. And, the worst habit, if not able to do everything, I end up doing nothing at all). Now all gone!
But when did I gather so many garments? When, if, after four radical sorting, I still have stuff to dress four girls like me? How undressed could I have felt in my past to develop such an obsession and desperation for things? Not necessarily expensive ones, but a lot! I know I come from Communism, when there was money but the access to commodities was strictly controlled. A forced control that once ended made us all run in the opposite direction. That is natural human behavior, because before reaching equilibrium most human beings have to experience the extremes; it’s in our nature… you hit one wall, then rebound into the opposite wall and then you fall on the floor somewhere between the two walls; just like a ball.
Communism ended in 1989, when I was nine, so I should have fallen on the floor after hitting walls many years ago. The real problem was my necessity to be seen and validated, followed by a decade of marketing jobs in modern companies where people hide their soul emptiness behind roles and clothes and words. And I was so good at that!
All these have just came back to me few minutes ago, when I was switching clothes in my closet (summer goes leaving place for lovely autumn). I have so few garments now; and still too many for the minimalistic life I’m aiming at… If in the past I was mourning every pair of shoes or clothing object I had to throw away, I started now to feel satisfaction when I have to let go a thing that has lived its life (like the vegan leather pants cracked the other day or my favorite mixer who died on duty in the muffins mixture two days ago). As Yalom said in “Becoming Myself: A Psychiatrist’s Memoir”, traveling with few luggage gives you the freedom of a bird. So I’m aiming to live as a free bird. I’ll get to one bag of warm weather clothes and one for cold seasons till the end of next year (and most of them made by me, of natural fabrics, handcrafted with best intentions). My soul is dressed now with love and joy.