My ex-partner was the antithesis of a minimalist. Any time I would clear out a space, it would almost instantaneously be filled with something of hers. Living with her was like the principle of nature abhors a vacuum manifested hoarder-style.
Since she moved out, I have been slowly returning to my preferred state of being a semi-minimalist. I've taken four large bags of books to my Little Free Library; I've thrown out the three-year-old bottles of condiments that we never used; and I've even gone through my memory box and gotten rid of the awards and report cards that dated back to elementary school. In this new stage of life, I am focusing on being lighter.
In the spirit of minimalism, when I started packing for my current trip, I decided to limit myself to one carry on bag and one camera bag (which has some extra space for books/a jacket/a water bottle). I didn't need to do this, as I could have easily brought one of my larger suitcases, but I wanted to see whether I could fit my life into a small space for a week.
It was a lot easier than I thought. My suitcase easily held two pairs of jeans, a warm sweater, two pairs of pajamas, and more than enough socks, underwear, and t-shirts. There was room for five books, my french workbooks*, and a notebook. My computer, my cell phone, and my camera with an extra lens. Everything I will need.
But the constraints of space did force me to leave a few things behind, like my ex's long-sleeved t-shirt. The cozy one that I bought her while at a conference in Boston, which was always a favourite of mine, and which she returned to me after the breakup. The one I've been putting on every evening when I arrive home from work. The most tangible reminder I have of what we were, and what was lost. I am not usually one to assign emotions to physical things, but somehow lately it has felt as if all of my grief is contained within this piece of cotton.
So I left it at home.
*I'm going to Quebec to practice my French for a week! Je pense que ce sera plus dur que je pensais.