Weekend Note / 03.

Weekend notes are short-form POVs.

One night this summer, long before I knew of Marie Kondo and her philosophies on keeping a tidy home, I did a thorough purge of my apartment. I discarded anything I no longer found useful, beautiful, or, for one reason or another, didn't feel like me. This included a dress festooned with navy blue sequins; blank calendars from 2011, 2012, 2013; a high school gym shirt. It had occurred to me not long before that I might not stay in New York — or this apartment — forever, and suddenly, all of these things felt like weight, too cumbersome to carry. My parents had done this recently, before downsizing to a smaller home this summer. They shocked my brother and me with their ability to let go of possessions we'd carried with us for decades, over the course of many moves. Even the artwork we'd done as children was carefully photographed, saved to a hard drive, and then thrown away. "We have the memories," they said. "That's all we need."

Three full trash bags were carried out to the curb (or donated) after my most recent apartment cleanse. It was amazing that was there was still enough left to fill it. I tried to be thoughtful about what remained: ceramics my friends had made, paintings, photographs. I remembered an interview I'd done with an artist last summer who'd lost everything to a house fire in Berlin. Instead of devastation afterward, he'd felt ecstasy — with no possessions, he was free and able to move wherever he wished, so he did. He hasn't stopped traveling since.

As I've gotten older, I've had an increasing desire to live with less — to carry only what I need, or love, or what, as Marie Kondo would say, sparks joy. This has happened in an intangible sense, too, with people, and work, and extracurricular activities — if it's a regular part of my life, I want it to be a constructive addition. In this way, growing up has been a very gradual — but very consistent — process of paring down. Life, delightfully, seems only richer.

When my family moved from LA to Hawaii, we left many of our belongings behind. As a second grader, I remember packing toys and stuffed animals and books into boxes to be given away to other children — we kept only my favorites. Even our cat was given to our pool man's family in order to spare her the lengthy quarantine imposed on newly-arrived island animals. I cried when we said goodbye to her. My mom took me under her arm. "Don't worry," she said. "She'll find a new life." 

And so would we. I'd realize later that the more we were able to let go of, the easier it would be to move — and keep moving.

Have a wonderful, warm weekend. See you Monday.


  1. i need to do this. it's so hard to begin though. :/

  2. i love this. letting go and carrying on is so much easier with less stuff. hope fall in new york is as warm and colorful as it is in berlin. have a lovely weekend.

  3. All of this. I cleaned out my room at my parents' house this weekend and there is still too much stuff. I am eager to get it all in one place and purge again. I only buy what I need. Even books come electronically for the most part. I read a book and pass it on. I want to read Condo's book for sure. I have a feeling I would agree with much of what she says.

  4. stuff is well-named. stuff. hmmm.
    could've been named, "dumb stuff"
    but stuff is fine.

  5. Uncluttering is the best.

    Have a wonderful, warm weekend, too!

  6. My mum recently asked me if I wanted a lock on my baby hair and drawings and I looked at her like "how could you throw them away??". I don't think I'm at the sensible point yet (I did add the hair and drawings to one of my many boxes) but I have friends who live very minimal and I'm envious of them. I think I need that book!

  7. I love your weekend notes. I've been wanting to do something similar on Sunday's, but I haven't figured out what to call it. Maybe I don't have to call it anything. I like the idea of waking up early with some tea or coffee and maybe some egg toast and just sit at the kitchen table writing about something quiet and subtle.

  8. Wonderful! Thank you for sharing!!

  9. Thank you all so much.

    Katharina, thank you! So far it's been lovely but it's certainly getting colder by the day...

    Wren, I would love to read that series :) Looking forward to it already!



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