What Happened When I "Marie Kondo-ed" My Life
This is what happened when I did a “Marie Kondo” on my life.
Turns up, tidying up is healing. After listening to the audio of Marie Kondo’s book about tidying up, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up I went in a blitz to deal with my stuff.
I already have relatively few belongings since I was in and out of suitcase for 6 years, during those years but I’ve never really looked at my stuff from my university years. I kinda found travel, kept traveling and never wanted to come back. I put all of my notes from courses into canvas bags and boxes and left them in my parent’s basement. While I was gone, everything in my bedroom got packed and I never bothered to unpack it because I didn’t even want to stay here. Just the notes from university filled up 6 stuffed canvas bags and 3 boxes of binders filled to the brim.
Yet, this is why I came back.
When I hit pause on travel, I knew that I needed to come back to Toronto and integrate the parts of myself that I’d disowned. On the physical level, I knew that I have to look at my stuff in boxes, but there’s more soul layers to than the mere act.
As I sift through the boxes, my most startling discovery is that I’ve been journaling for many years. I’ve been making lists of my dreams, action plans and pondering thoughts for a long time. I thought t was just something I developed in the last few years. Ah, this is how I work, this is how I’m made.
I gathered all my journals, up to the the one I most recently finished in June 2019 and they fill a whole box. 30+ altogether. From the covers I see this progression of me journaling with cheap dollar store notebooks and the free notebooks that were promotional items from brands, to when I started purchasing prettier journals. I remember I first time I spent $24 on a journal. It was like I’d just spent a bar of gold. It was the moment that I started to take my thoughts, my dreams, my visions seriously. I told myself, I’m gonna make these words count.
I also recognize a few beautifully designed journals in the pile. These were give to me. At that time, I wouldn’t have spent the money on myself. I see how God was nudging me to accept better quality, as if to say, you’re worth it, Anita. What you write matters.
THE LEARNING IS NEVER LOST
I also uncovered the textbooks full of case studies from my days in business school. Tthe titles of these textbooks catches my eye:
Co-creating Value in Developing Markets.
Accounting for Executive Decision Making.
Oh my heart. I remember why I chose those courses and how much they meant to me. I believed so deeply. My only motivation for figuring out business was because I wanted to use it as a vehicle for good in the world. I’m not a numbers person but I was determined to figure out numbers because my theory was that if businesses rule the world, then I will get inside the game and figure out how to use business for good.
As I flipped through the case studies, I’m taken back to those classrooms and I feel how excited I was to learn. Class started everyday at 8am and I loved leaving my house at 7:30 just as the sun was rising in the winter to go to class and be challenged, inspired and motivated. Back in my parents basement, I feel God impressing into my heart:
Nothing had been lost, Anita. It’s all inside you. Though you don’t consciously recall most of the details, you studied hundreds of business cases, and it’s all inside you. It will amalgate with all your learning now and it come out when it needs to. I’ve always been with you. I’ve always been guiding. You.
Next I find my media studies textbooks. Media In Society. Film. Music production. The courses that nailed in my disillusionment with the first world. Yet there it all was. A physical memento that nothing is by accident. Today I work in media. The choices we make about what we will study - none of that is a mistake. Even if you studied something you “didn’t like”, your soul was not making a mistake. It was carving a unique path for you and shaping you for your greater destiny. For me, I’ve been convinced since I was 12 that I would work in media. I always moved in that direction, even I couldn’t see through the forest and the noise.
I feel like my unconscious mind has (or we could say God has), all these years, been teaching me, training me, preparing me to build the media organization that I am destined to build.
In Marie Kondo’s book, she shares the story of how she’s been obsessing over tidying up and organizing since she was 5. It resonated with me because I’ve been trying to figure out how to use media to make real, meaningful positive difference in the world since I was young.
I believe these obsessions are written in our DNA. Like an imprint from God to guide us to our life purpose.
There was a point where I got tired of what the first world was offering, and put it all on the backburner to go travel and make content for the internet, but now I see that was still part of the training.
At this point in my life, I’m unapologetic about what I’m here to do. I allow myself to obsess about it. This is the mission and vision that’s wired into my DNA. This is what I am here to do, and through every raging storm, devastating valley, and unspeakable mountain high - this is my calling. I live to create and share positive, encouraging messages.
I’m so grateful for the journey that’s brought me here. I’m so grateful for the countless cards and letters that people have given me. Each friendship and relationship buoying me for a season as we rode the currents.
Life is long and it’s wonderful, wildly beautiful one.