Unplugging.

Well, I’ve finally done it. I’ve been obsessing over the idea for well over a year at this point, and I finally woman-ed up and just did it.

I cancelled Netflix.

I cancelled Amazon Prime.

I cancelled WiFi.

My connection to the last of these will be terminated on the 15th of the month, in T-minus seven days.

Starting on the 15th of the month, I will no longer be a Netflix-binger, online-window-shopper, or internet-user in general.

At least for the foreseeable future.

At least until January.

Rather, I’m hoping I can make it that long.

Here’s the thing: my productivity levels at home su-uuuuck. Once I’m home, I’m basically done for the day. I turn on the TV, select a Netflix show, and promptly become a mindless zombie.

I can’t even be bothered to respond to texts; how dare they interrupt my solace.

I once read that a study was done on people who watched TV – they came out literally dumber than before the episode or binge or whatever. I don’t remember where or when I read that, but it has stuck with me for ages. And I’m probably imagining this to some extent, but I feel dumber lately.

When I was 16, I was working two part-time jobs and going to two colleges full-time. I was exhausted. But, like, a good exhausted. The kind you feel when you know you’ve used up every bit of energy your brain and body can produce for the day.

Now I feel bad exhausted.. pretty much all the time. The kind you feel when you have a mountain of to-dos and spend three hours binging Friends rather than completing even a single task. The kind you feel when you’ve been a zombie for so long that you struggle to get creative juices flowing, juices that used to flow freely and allow you to bang out a 5-page essay in 20-30 minutes.

EL. OH. EL.

Don’t even ask how long it would take me to write that essay now.

I was talking to a friend last night and he point-blank asked me if I was living any of the advise I freely give others about pursuing their dreams.

The answer was an obvious and awkward: “um, no..?”

And it was just the push I needed to finally get it together.

So I called Spectrum at 12:05 PM today, and cancelled my WiFi.

I’m hoping this exercise in unplugging will make me so. stinking. bored. that I actually want to tackle that mountainous task list.

I need fewer distractions and temptations to waste my life, and by getting rid of WiFi in my apartment, I’m getting rid of almost all of them.

Thanks to the recent declutter, I don’t own much in the way of entertainment. My books are purged down to just a Bible and 3-4 non-fiction books I’ve been meaning to get to for ages. My collection of movies is downsized to 3 – the Anne of Green Gables series. I have a handful of games and five partially empty notebooks. I’ve got an iPad, MacBook, and iPhone. Oh, and a keyboard.

All of these things are generally ignored in favor of Netflix or YouTube or window shopping on Amazon.

Getting rid of WiFi is getting rid of pretty much everything I do in my free time.

And this idea thrills me.

A world with no old habits to fill the time is a world of endless possibilities.

Who knows what I’ll do first.

I imagine I’ll catch up on sleep again, and maybe finally read those books. I’ll probably get outside more and call friends more and study the Word more. I’ll probably goof off on the keyboard and spend focused energy on developing my vocal range. Maybe I’ll finally get around to experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen. Maybe I’ll go on more adventures to local museums or random far off places. Oh, oh – I might even become a consistent blogger (aaah ha)! After all, there’s nothing else to do.

Just to clarify for the nay-sayers: I’m not cutting the internet or entertainment out of my life entirely.

This should be obvious since my job is 100% an online gig.

Also, as I said, I have an iPhone which has data which means internet. And there’s no way on earth I’m giving up my GPS, the ability to check open/close times of businesses, or an opportunity to fact-check people in the middle of a conversation (because yes, I’m one of those annoying people who has to fact-check EVERYTHING).

I can even use the internet for other things if I should so desire, just not at home.

There’s a Starbucks with great indoor and outdoor seating areas and free WiFi less than a mile away. I’ve got a MoviePass membership (that will soon be swapped for the AMC membership because MoviePass just passed a bunch of new policies that are complete suckage) that I will use to enjoy the frequent theater experience. I have a DVD player and a library card. My iPad is already filling up with books I want to read, and my phone is overwhelmed with Podcasts I intend to listen to on long evening walks. I also have Ronnie, my delightful car that is more anxious to hit the roads than I am.

The point is: I want to make distractions harder to get to; I want to make them a reward, rather than my norm.

So here I go, starting my experimental mutiny of the internet. Wish me luck.

Unplugging.

I wear black on black on black, and then, if I’m feeling adventurous, more black.

I only wear black clothing. Okay, occasionally a garment will have white/grey stripes or something, but 99% of the time, it’s straight black.

Over the least year to year and a half, there has been a lot of speculation as to why I do this. Folks have assumed that I hate all colors, that it’s an act of cultural rebellion, etc.

On one of the four times I wore color (yes, four times in 1.5 years – not counting a neutral tan cardigan I occasionally wore for like two months), a woman who never speaks to me approached me to say something like: “You look good in green. This is your color, not black. It’s time to stop grieving.”

I literally died laughing that day.

*Literally was herein used for sardonic affect rather than for its actual meaning.

Here’s the thing, none of the afore mentioned assumptions are correct. Well, I do enjoy the accidental side effect of cultural rebellion… but that’s not the point.

There are two reasons why I wear black. And believe it or not, neither of them are because I’m a minimalist (although everything matching and therefore needing fewer clothes is a HUGE plus – ten/ten recommend).

  1. I sweat a lot. It’s a trait I inherited from my dad. Sweat pits give me the creeps, ergo, I wear black.
  2. I get, like, bad anxiety when I wear color. Ergo, I wear black.

Over the years, I started to notice a trend with myself. When I wore colorful outfits, the world felt too… loud. I started integrating neutrals, and then slowly shifted to only black, and suddenly the world felt quieter.

I have a very loud, obnoxious, passionate, annoying (I think wonderful) personality. Part of it is that I love basically everything and experience it all with a ridiculous amount of zeal and an overabundance of wonderment.

Food isn’t just something to eat; it has an emotion and a heart. French fries are literally my boyfriend; coffee is my soulmate. Museum’s aren’t just a place of knowledge, but a portal into another realm. Movie theaters are an out of body experience. Music is more magic than oxygen. A full moon makes me fly and a sunset can bring me to tears for the sheer beauty.

I don’t just hang out with friends, I belt songs with them and explore with them, and fight for them, and dream with them.

I don’t just sing praises to God, I smile and dance and shout and float in His presence.

Rain gives my heart wings!  And snow.. well, snow actually leaves me speechless.

The point is: I LIVE FOR LIFE.

(I’m an ENFP. If you know anything about Myers-Briggs, you’re nodding with sudden understanding.)

It’s just so dang glorious and exciting.

But it’s also a lot. Like.. a lot. And sometimes dealing with it is extra hard.

Wearing black is like painting myself in a blank canvas. With the magic stroke of pure nothingness, I can design my world through my words and actions, rather than through my dress. People don’t get to decide if I’m funky or athletic or eclectic or classy by the color of my clothes. They have to stick around and figure it out through my personality.

And my personality is a loud mouth.

So my clothing can’t be.

To quote my sister Sarah:

“Some people are really obnoxious and they wear a lot of color, so it’s… like… too much. You’re really, really obnoxious. But since you wear black, it’s not as bad.”

Heh.

Black is like a warm cozy blanket. It makes me feel grounded and connected, when the rest of me is freaking out. When I wear something with color, I feel like everything about me is just too much, for others and for myself. Emotions become too heightened, the world begins to look like a Picasso painting as my brain starts to spazz out. I feel breathless and spun out of control, like I’m floating rapidly away and my tether has been snapped.

In color, I feel unnatural, intimidated by both myself and the world around me.

I become un-me.

This probably seems soooooo dramatic. But if you’ve ever dealt with anxiety, you understand. Sometimes we just need a rope to cling to, whether we’re conscious of it or not. Something that tames the mad beating of the heart, calms the racing rivers of the mind. For me, that comfort comes in black clothing.

I wear black on black on black, and then, if I’m feeling adventurous, more black.

The Great Purge of 2018 (Part 1)

Here goes, the post you’ve been waiting for if you’re anything like me…

…an itemized summary of The Great Purge of 2018!

Now before we get going, I do want to disclaimer that some of the items departed my possession prior to 2018. I’m still counting them, however, as they left after I made the goal to get rid of 50% of my belongings, and they only left prior to 2018 because of my emergency move. I’d also like to correct myself – I said I had 745 items in that post, but the move revealed some items I forgot to include. My actual total was 756 prior to the purge.

I’ve debated how to share the Great Purge stats with y’all. I was going to share room by room, but things have continually shifted, so the data wouldn’t reflect accurately. With that being the case, I’ve decided to share by genre. I think this will help keep things on the up and up and provide a neat and tidy overview of the result!

Let’s dive right in, shall we?

Genre: Furniture

November 2017
March 2018
Bed Frame 1 Bed Frame 1
Box Spring 1 Mattress 1
Mattress 1 Desk Chair 1
Bedside Table 1 Wingback Chair 1
Wingback Chair 1 Couch 1
Jesus Chair 1 Coffee Table 1
Couch 1 TV Stand 1
Book Case 1 Memory Chest 1
Coffee Table 1
Memory Chest 1
Blanket ladder 1
Table 1
Chairs 2
Shelving Unit 1
TOTAL: 15 TOTAL: 8

As you can see, I did away with my dining table and chairs, the book shelves (no longer needed due to my substantially smaller book collection), and the Jesus Chair. Unfortunately the chair was falling apart, so it had to go. No worries though, I still get ample Jesus time. 🙂 I was also able to part with the dreaded box spring — and holy cow lemme tell you what a workout it is to destroy one of those things. Took about half an hour and the aftermath was carnage, sweat, and blood (loads of splinters y’all-  get some gloves if you’re gonna tackle this). I also realized that even though I had a bedside table, I was never using it. It just sat there taking up white space – so adiós it went.

Genre: Storage/Organizing Containers/Things

November 2017
March 2018
Storage Baskets 4 Storage Baskets 6
Storage Jars 9 Storage Jars 2
Storage Boxes 2 Storage Boxes 1
Storage Bin 4 Tooth Brush Holder 1
Storage Container 2 Shirt Hangers 28
Shower Caddy 1 Skirt Hangers 6
Tooth Brush Holder 1
Shirt Hangers 50
Skirt Hangers 10
Desk Organizer 1
Slide Shelves 2
TOTAL: 86 TOTAL: 44

Okay, so that was boring and doesn’t need much commentary. Suffice it say that downsizing stuff means downsizing your need for places to put stuff. I will say that I’m about to do another purge of my clothing, so I believe the hanger count will come even further down. I’ll update y’all when I get to wardrobe. 🙂

Genre: Electronics

November 2017
March 2018
Triofit 1 iPhone Charger 1
Triofit Charger 1 Laptop 1
Extension Cord 1 Laptop Charger 1
iPhone Charger 1 iPad 1
Kindle 1 iPad Charger 1
Laptop 1 DVD Player 1
Laptop Charger 1 Router 1
iPad 1 Hair Dryer w/ Diffuser 1
iPad Charger 1 Curling Wand 1
DVD Player 1 Outlet Multiplier 1
Router 1 Fan 1
Heat pad 1 Lamps 4
Hair Dryer w/ Diffuser 1 Remotes 2
Curling Wand 2
Printer 1
CD-ROM Player for Laptop 1
Outlet Multiplier 1
Extension Cord 1
Mouse for Laptop 1
iPhone Case 2
Kindle Charger 1
Fan 1
Humidifier 1
Remotes 2
TOTAL: 27 TOTAL: 17

I was actually able to get rid of a lot here. My Triofit and charger were no longer necessary as we did away with the program at work. I’m pretty sure the numbers were always off as well, so keeping it as a Fitbit was pointless. I also chose to sell my Kindle as I really didn’t need both it and the iPad. I went back and forth on the decision a lot, since the Kindle didn’t have the harsh lights you’re supposed to avoid before bed. It came down to just being honest with myself: I don’t read in/before bed, and I’m not likely to start. I also got rid of my printer and humidifier, both were big eye sores that I just didn’t use.

Genre: Sentimental

November 2017
March 2018
Pocket Watch 1 Pocket Watch 1
Journals 4 Journals 2
Snowglobe 1 Snowglobe 1
Photo Albums 3 Photo Albums 2
Bibles 3 Bibles 3
Stuffed Animal 1 Play/Drama Recordings on DVD 3
Play/Drama Recordings on DVD 3 Dad’s Pastoral Mantle 1
Dad’s Pastoral Mantle 1 Diploma & Degree (grouped in one display binder) 1
Diploma & Degree (grouped in one display binder) 1
Folder of Letters 1
TOTAL: 19 TOTAL: 15

I don’t really hang on to things for sentimental purposes. I have a small memory chest that I keep some things in, but if I’m being honest, I rarely-to-never look inside. This go around, I was able to get rid of a couple of things: the stuffed animal my dad brought home to little-kid-me from one of his trips, the folder of letters (too private to go in detail here) that now just hurt to read, and two of the photo albums I get negative vibes from (though I replaced one of them with an album of my travel photos). Oh, I also got rid of 2 of the journals by combining three into one. 🙂

Okay, this post is already getting too long and I’ve barely started. This is just a mere glimpse at the purge that has taken place. Hey, I’ll admit it! I’m a coward and did the easiest genres first. Still to come:

  • Cookware/Eating Utensils/Kitcheny Supply Things
  • Reusable Cleaning Supplies/Tools
  • Blankets/Pillows/Decor
  • Outside the House (my car and what’s in it, stuff at the office, and items in my purse)
  • Wardrobe
  • Miscellaneous (everything else)

But honestly, I just love how clean my home feels. I love not having clutter. I love being able to breath when I walk in.

It’s kind of funny; my mom always comments that when she comes to my apartment, she just wants to sleep. She’s not the only one who has commented on this. I truly believe the cozy atmosphere is because the lack of clutter frees up the mind to rest.

Anyway…

STATS SO FAR
ORIGINAL COUNT: 756
ITEMS STAYING: 84
ITEMS PURGED: 63
PERCENTAGE PURGED: 8.33%

The Great Purge of 2018 (Part 1)