Ternate18.2.17w
Letting the light in ©MTHerzog

I first wrote about de-cluttering my life last October in a blog entry entitled Life’s Merry-Go-Round. Almost a year later, I am trying to get off the merry-go-round in order to sit quietly in my space and breathe. If there is one photograph of mine that summarises my life at the moment it is this one, taken in Ternate Beach, Cavite, Philippines last year. The rains had just stopped and the light shining through the clouds was a moment to stop and be grateful. The storm that ensued in my life thereafter is an entirely different story.

Lately, I have been on a mad pursuit to de-clutter my life and reduce many of my possessions to the essentials. The goal is to retain only the things and people that affirm and define me, manifest my soul and bring substance and structure into a space I call my own. It must be an age thing, or the process of ageing, as I find myself wanting more space and less clutter around me, far less furniture than what I grew up with or lived with for the past 25 years. The time for patchwork interiors is over, emotionally and physically, and this means discarding whatever holds no emotional value to me.

When I moved into the partially furnished apartment last year, everything in it proved to be the perfect solution to tide me over until my container arrived. When it finally did, the result was yet another patchwork of unmatched styles that I could not identify with. One by one the unwanted pieces have left and yesterday the last remaining change took place.

By reducing the clutter in my life and whittling everything down to the essential treasures and pleasures, I am creating a new world for myself, one that is a nourishing cocoon where I can retreat to, re-charge my depleted energies, and learn to be friends with myself.

The storm is far from over, but for now the rains have stopped and rays of hope have made their way through the cracks. For the first time in a three years, I can breathe.

I have arrived.