Breathe – Mission 2, Days 3 through the end

I was disingenuous. I had an ulterior motive in selecting this mission that I did not mention. What you don’t know is that I was moving. When I chose this mission, I was in the process of leaving my apartment of 7 years in just under a month. The mission and the move are both done.

Do you feel duped? Don’t–I would have taken up purging even if there had been no move. But I understand that it takes some of the gloss off of it. Who can admire in quite the same way someone who vows bravely to cross the Sahara after you find out he had an appointment on the other side anyway? The move did force my hand. The new people wanted an empty apartment on a particular day in a “ready or not, here I come” sort of way.

I let go of a mountain of junk. But, if I am honest–and I feel I must be after having so recently misled you–I could have gotten rid of much more. I was tempted–seduced, really. It wasn’t the object itself–it was the role the object could play in the future. That is super sexy stuff–you can see how I was seduced. I thank you for understanding why the sleek Italian wall-mounted coat rack that I never used in my old apartment sweet talked its way into a box. I also don’t have to explain why the food processor made the trip to the new apartment of a woman who rarely cooks.

The marketing/advertising industry has a word that describes what happened to me: aspirational. A consumer product lured me in with the promise of a life that could be, with little regard for the life that actually is (for the second time, no less). There is a part of me–and a part of you too, I’m sure–that says: “well what’s wrong with that? Maybe aspirations will serve as inspiration.” There is nothing wrong with that. To aspire is an exquisite human trait. With the Latin root “to breathe” right in the middle of the word, it is a supremely romantic notion: that you can breathe life into an image of yourself with the promise that it will materialize before you. But there is a danger in it. Excessive trappings of the aspirational version of you will keep you from becoming her. You cannot “breathe life” while being stifled by your excess. Ironic, no?

Maybe keep the wall-mounted coat rack for a month–if aspirational me does not show up and use it, then the real me can use the clear space instead.


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