Just over 2 years ago, I purchased this bike. The day this photo was taken, I had visions of myself riding this bike to the market and filling the basket with fresh fruit and flowers. In my vision, I was adorable and hip.
Then I started a full time job and the bike only got out a few times a year.
Then I got married and it didn’t have a garage to live in so it was an eyesore under a big gray tarp next to my car.
This week as Dave and I have been challenging ourselves to get rid of things that we weren’t using on a regular basis and really didn’t need, Dave suggested “maybe you should sell your bike.” i FREAKED out, mostly on the inside, but a little on the outside too. I rebelled against the idea for a few days, but came around to seeing his point. I have ridden it 3 times this year and 2 of those times I whined a lot because of the hills in our neighborhood.
So why was I so apprehensive to get rid of it?
Why are we as human so hesitant to get rid of our STUFF even if we arent using it?
Twice in my life I have visited a therapist to talk about some minor upsets. Both times I decided they didn’t really know what they were talking about because I had experiences like this:
Therapist: Why does that make you so upset?
Tammy: I’m not sure, I’m just an emotional person
Therapist: I think you’re experiencing grief for the loss of the way you wish things were.
At the time, I was angry that she was quoting a text book answer back to me, but strangely in this situation, I think I finally understand the emotion she was trying to explain to me.
This weekend I was upset because I had wanted to feel like a cool person who had a laid back lifestyle and could ride this really adorable bike to do cool and laid back things. Getting rid of the bike meant that I could no longer have the potential of being that person. I was identifying myself based on the stuff I owned, not what I actually did.
So I manned up and posted the bike on craigslist. Dave advised me to post it for $150, but that just tore my heartstrings so I posted it for $200. (Plus, people rarely give you your asking price, they will always offer less) Within a couple hours, I had several offers for $150 and one for $200! So I agreed. We met up with this SUPER nice woman who, I am sure, had the same vision of herself on the bike as I had previously.
While we were driving away from our meeting spot, what did I feel? RELIEF! Surprising relief! I no longer would pull up next to the bike everyday and tell myself I should ride it, just because I owned it.
I was then free to move on from the persona I wasn’t and can now move on to something different, being filled with an awareness to be who I am, not be what I own.
***Another important tip***
Dave came up with a great idea while we were cleaning out a box of my memorabilia. I pulled out an item that someone had given me and didnt want to give it up. Why? Not because I inherently liked the item, but because it brought back a priceless memory of the person who gave it to me. In my mind, getting rid of the item would get rid of that special memory. So Dave came up with a good solution for me. Take a photo of the item, put it in a journal or a blog post, and write about why it meant so much to you. That will not only have the visual trigger of the memory, but also, now other people can read the entry and appreciate why that item was so important to you.