As a Virgo and person of good Lutheran Midwestern upbringing, clutter and I don’t get along. My husband and I have spent many a Sunday evening digging through our recycle bin trying to find important documents I tossed because they were on the kitchen table or counter. I have had to beg people to forward e-mails I sent them because I cleaned out my inbox or sent mail box too quickly. I hate it when my work and creative space is cluttered and can’t work until the room is tidied up a bit.
I have subscribed to a variety of minimalism blogs and I even offered up an interview with the fabulous Jennifer Baron on how to de-clutter your creative space, but when I came across this article by Miss Minimalist, it made me stop and think. In this article, Miss Minimalist talks about our fantasy selves and how we have to let them go so our TRUE selves can grow and flourish. She encourages her readers to get rid of the fantasy self that dreams of having an immaculate Martha Stewart House but hasn’t lifted up a broom in 5 years, or the self that is an Uber Athlete but can barely make it up the stairs without having to rest.
I know what she is getting at, she doesn’t want people to live in their heads and accumulate an attic full of chandeliers and fancy dresses, but I disagree with what she is saying. Instead of letting go of our fantasy selves, we should let them guide us. For example: I would secretly like to have a perfect Martha Stewart front yard. I know I could never get it to HER ideal but I would like to be able to look at the yard without shaking my head and glaring at all the weeds. We don’t really have the money right now to rip up all the grass and start over, so we end up ignoring it and mowing the weeds when they need mowing. Instead of shaking our heads, we could be improving the yard in stages.
If you have a secret Mary Tyler Moore life and really and truly want to write, start your own blog. Get a beret. Throw it outside of your apartment building and be happy. I secretly want Anthony Bourdain’s life (I don’t know if it’s much of a secret anymore since I write about it all the time). So instead of whining about what I don’t have, I have started writing small travel articles I will eventually post here. I have to start somewhere and I use him as my inspiration.
Obviously, there is a fine line between realizing your dreams and something that will just never happen. We have to take physical and other issues into consideration. Can you truly achieve a goal or is just a fantasy? What is preventing us from acting on our fantasy selves? When I was young I wanted to be an astronaut. Really and truly. But then I learned that being an astronaut is more than flying in a space shuttle. It takes a lot of work, math and other things I just wasn’t capable of doing. So I set my sights a little closer to the ground.
My cousin Jessica (with whom I am interviewing for a feature on this website) recently started a website called Future Me! Now for people to manifest their goals. Each day people write things like, It is December 1st and I am debt free or I booked this acting job and am happily paying my bills. My mom went on the website daily and wrote about the smooth sale of her business and how the new owners were happy. She did this until the sale of the coffee shop and it helped her get through the process when things were looking bleak.
What about you? How are your fantasy selves helping or hurting you? What can you do to act on them or maybe let them go to find something closer to your own talents and limitations? Let me know and I’ll share your story on my website!