I read an article this week which said to leave 2016 behind and move positively into 2017, it’s important to get rid of the past. To remove things that might hold us back from having a great year next year. To throw things out. To declutter. To make room for the new.
These words spoke to me. Any article about decluttering always does. I read the articles, nod in agreement and vow to make changes. Then the thought of actually throwing things away starts to make me feel a little anxious. Where to start? What about landfill? How will I get rid of all my ‘unwanted stuff’? I’m a What If Girl. What If I need the things I’m being told to throw out?
I’m desperate to make 2017 one of my best years yet. God knows that 2016 has been so exhausting for most of us, anything will be better. I want to go into it with a clear head, a happy heart and the passion to do things that feed my soul. If that means a bit of decluttering, off I go.
The article made a new and interesting point – that we should also be getting rid of old text messages, emails and photos that are clogging up our phones and computers. We need to delete them in order to clear space for new and better things to come along. Okay, I can do that.
I looked at my phone and scrolled through my text messages. The oldest ones were from 2013 when I first got my phone. Surely I don’t need three year old texts any more. I methodically looked at each recipient and the number of messages we’d swapped … then hit the Delete All Button on the ones I didn’t want. The first one was hard. Then it became easy. Almost therapeutic.
There were 200 messages from Paddle Pop Lion. They started off sweet and sexy with the early days of flirting and seduction. As I scanned through the feed, it showed our history. Getting to know each other – being more suggestive – making plans to catch up – missing each other. The good times of us being together. Then it turned. He became jealous – I started to pull away – my Aunty passed away – he tried to be there for me – I wasn’t interested. Finally, the text messages after our break up – and him reaching out to me for friendship. Delete. Delete. Delete. That part of my life gone. I felt a little sad. I also felt free.
Various work text messages from old work colleagues took up over 100 spaces. Fun notes back and forth on what we’d done, congratulating them on success, and the occasional mishaps. I’m proud of what we’ve achieved but I have new things to create next year. Delete.
A portfolio of my dating life screamed volumes about what I’ve been doing for three years. Chris the Cyclist texted me briefly before our first date at the Opera House Bar, then thanked me afterwards. We lamented that three bottles of red probably wasn’t necessary but the pashing on the way home was fun. He disappeared after that. No real loss. Delete.
Messages from Mark the Aussie (one date). Deleted. Messages from Adam the weirdo who found love with an old friend (no date). Deleted. Brad the boring super short date that talked about cauliflower and supermarkets. Delete. Matt the Cowboy who was sweet and funny but locations kept us apart. Delete. The aggressive irrational ranting from the psycho who called me Granny Pussy. Delete. Delete. Delete. What a f *ckwit. Thank God it made a good blog.
It was harder to remove the texts from old friends. People that had meant so much to me over the years. Ones that I thought would be in my life forever. I re-read our funny banter one last time and recalled the fun times we’d had. But there’s little point on holding onto those times and people when they’re gone and serve no purpose. Thank you – I’ll miss you (sort of) – delete.
I deleted around 500 text messages. Some were hard to let go of and I felt a little sad. Others needed to disappear. I am not that person anymore. That’s not my life. I have no need for silly notes about cauliflower, dance parties and random dumb questions from someone trying to get to know me. Delete.
Although I removed a lot, there are still a few messages that will be harder to lose. The magical back and forth of late ‘goodnights’ from the Policeman during the world’s shortest romance – funny notes about me not being able to use my phone with my beloved friend Richard – the texts from my real best friends, the ones who are still here. I’m happy to declutter, but some things are still precious. I might just sit with those for a while longer.
Tomorrow I’m going to start on the 4,826 photos and downloads on my phone. Watch out 2017, I’m ready.