Why I can't clean out my closet

I wear the same clothes a lot these days. Three black dresses, two black tops, leggings or black jeans, and rotating black and brown booties with a jean jacket or a fake leather jacket--all of which I love, every time I wear them.

So why is my closet still full of so many other, rarely worn (blatantly unnecessary) pieces? Honestly I accent more with jewelry than with colorful clothes anymore…and I should mention that’s with the same 6 pieces of simple gold jewelry on rotation as well, despite my absurd collection of accent and sentimental jewelry that clutters up my dresser so beautifully.

Sometimes I think about this stuff and I’m so convinced I’m going to go home and clean out all the silly space occupiers in my bedroom. Books I’ll never read again, clothes I haven’t worn in years, clothes and shoes I wear occasionally but certainly wouldn’t miss…

You know the pesky little thought that holds me back, don’t you? Because I bet you’ve done the same thing.

“But what if I give it away and then I wish I had it back in three months?”

And if we had to boil that all-too-familiar sentiment down to a single emotion? Yes, you know this one. All together now: fear.

Only recently have I started to see how fear holds me back from most of my desires for major life change.

Empty my closet. Move cities. Quit my job. Start a business. Market my business. Delete my dating apps. (But seriously.)

I used to think it was because I just believed in sticking things out, but I know now that’s an exaggeratedly noble understanding of my motivation, and, as long as we’re being honest here, it’s just not even true to my character. I thrive on change, and I typically consider myself a risk-taker and adventurer. What keeps me in all these situations regrettably has little to do with commitment or integrity—it can be reduced simply to fear.

Fear as an emotion, however, is no place to stop. One step deeper and laid out in front of me is my next move: why am I afraid? Of what am I afraid? 

Short answer to both: I am afraid of failing because I haven’t yet imagined life outside of the narrow box to which I’ve confined my dreams and desires.

This isn’t really an emotional problem—it’s a creativity problem. I’m afraid because I can’t possibly imagine life working out to my fulfillment in a capacity outside of the rigid life structures and paths I’ve inferred from my immediate culture.

Here’s my short, sweet, tattoo-worthy conclusion from all of this: take the damn leap. 

If you feel like you’re suffocating, listen to your intuition.
If you feel like you’re bored out of your mind, listen to your intuition.
If you feel like there must be more for you than what you know as your day-to-day life, listen to your intuition.

Your intuition is begging you to return to creativity and come to life.

There is absolutely no point in sitting around in someone else’s dreams (or expectations) for you, because you will only come to life when you have the capacity to design your own path. The technology and opportunities available to us today are unprecedented in generations past,  making boundless space for us to exist in a way that’s true to our unique, creative nature. 

In fact, you may not know what you’re creating until you create it. If the thing you want to do does not yet exist, this is no reason to hold yourself to things that have been clearly and/or easily set before you. You will only come to life when you have the space to breathe and finally create! I assure you, it’s worth the risk. The safety of the well-traveled road is an illusion, and you’ll never know what lies even a few steps off the path if you never give yourself the adventure of trying.