My musings for the month of January.
As the year was about to start, I felt an insatiable need to declutter my entire life. And not the usual ‘new year, new me’ spiel that involves donating one measly bag of clothing and feeling so virtuous you quickly refill your wardrobe – I wanted to lead a minimalist lifestyle, only keeping items I really loved and living out of one wardrobe door.
I never thought the ‘clean gene’ would happen to me, but lone behold, as 2017 was about to start, I decided to declutter and discard items from my life. So I went about deleting fuckboys numbers from my phone, throwing out old photos from friends of the past and donating an array of apparel to charity. I even went as far as getting rid of books, crockery AND my socks – because who actually wears socks these days?
I’ll let you in on a secret and tell you I don’t exactly earn a shit tonne of money so when I have it, I’d prefer to invest in things of quality and things I love, rather than just buying shit for the sake of it. And I think because of that, I really value all the pieces I own and find it extra hard to part with things.
With all the changes that happened in 2016, I was ready to shed a layer on the old Peta by making room for the new, so I went about decluttering. Yet, like any millennial, I can’t just say I’m going to do something and go about doing it, I need to tell the whole of Facebook and become an expert on the subject first, right?!
So my options included scouring YouTube for tutorials, the internet for articles or the old-fashioned way of purchasing a book.
I opted for the latter.
If you ever come to my apartment, it has these ‘I’m still moving in’ vibes that have been rocking for the last 18 months. I call it I-can’t-commit-to-where-I’m-living chic. I have a few boxes scattered and it’s drastically lacking furniture. I bet my friends are wondering how the hell can I cull more items when I don’t really have much, however, I still manage to get rid of a tonne of stuff. Now, where’s my badge!
Everything that was left held a place in my heart and I truly loved every piece of clothing, book, skincare product and spoon (yes, spoons were culled) in my house.
So when I was packing for my trip to New Zealand for my best friends wedding, it was easy to head to my wardrobe and select items.
What happened next is a typical Peta moment and I’m unsure if I manifested it, as I often joke things happen to me so I can write about them – also, I was majorly lacking in material for my January letter, so I was praying inspiration would find me one way or another.
And so it happened – my luggage was lost by the airline and it contained my most valuable possessions and the majority of my wardrobe.
When shit happens, I can calmly look at it and formulate a plan to get out of it in one piece – and stylishly of course. Except when the contents of my life go missing and I’m standing in the middle of Nelson airport with the clothes on my back, my passport and a lipstick.
Surprisingly, I remained quite calm in the situation, until the staff openly admitted to losing my bag and having no idea where it could be. Although my bag was found and safely in my arms 10 hours later, I will admit to ugly crying in public for several hours and feeling like my life was actually over.
In an effort to calm me, I was told everything could be replaced, yet that surprisingly made it worse. Being in business, especially when you’re an entrepreneur, there are so many times when money is tighter than trying to squeeze yourself back into your prepubescent clothes.
I’ve recently gotten out of debt and depleted all savings which I’m slowly building back up. And even though it was only 10 days off work for the trip, I’d have three weeks off over Christmas and I was seriously stretching the funds in my wallet.
It didn’t even occur to me that I was potentially going to have to give my knickers a second-day wear, all that was going through my head was replacing my valuable possessions when I’m nowhere near as cashed up as I’d like to be and all the hard work it would take to be able to afford them again.
Well, as luck would have it, my luggage turned up. I don’t think I could love my clothing items any more than I did. And I hugged my suitcase so tightly I thought it would pop with the pressure of all my love (maybe I should write romance novels?).
I’m quite spiritual and I believe that everything in life happens for a reason so over the next few days I kept looking for the lesson in all of this.
On my trip, I kept seeing a book that I had on my wishlist for a while, #GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso. So I picked up a copy and reserved it for reading on the plane trip home.
If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur I thoroughly recommend this book. I can relate to almost everything on the page, apart from the dumpster diving for food.
Entrepreneurship can be like pushing diarrhoea up a hill, and I’ve been pushing hard for eight solid years now. I guess that’s why I do love my possessions oh so much because I’ve had to work so hard to earn every dollar to buy them. And although there have been numerous times that I wish I worked for someone else to accrue the benefits you get, I don’t think I’d have it any other way.
I had to laugh when I stumbled upon a page in the book that said the following.
“When you treat your possessions as emblems of your hard work, they inherit a meaning that transcends the objects themselves.” – Sophia Amoruso, #GIRLBOSS.
I’ve always had an affinity for nicer things and a beautiful life, and my beautiful possessions that were housed in that suitcase were the little reminders of that. They were like badges that reminded me of the hard work I put into my business and how amazing it feels to be able to walk into Gucci and know I earned every dollar to buy that bag.
I know you’re not meant to love stuff, but I believe if you work damn hard, whether that’s if you’re a boss babe or at uni or busting your nut to get out of debt there’s nothing wrong with you loving your stuff that you’ve worked damn hard for.
Your possessions not only house the stories and memories surrounding them, but also the hard work it took to purchase them in the first place.