My Girlfriend vs. My Apartment: A Lesson from a Messy Apartment

“Your room is a mess!”

“Why can’t you ever put your clothes away?”

“How can you live like this?”

“I didn’t raise you to have such a messy room!”

These were some of the things my mom would say when she saw my messy room growing up as a kid. Unfortunately, nothing has changed in that area of my life. As I got older, having a messy bedroom only turned into me having a messy apartment.

Now, I’m not a slob! There’s no food on the floor or cockroaches crawling across my kitchen table. But if you were to pop into my apartment on a random day, you’d probably see clothes everywhere, books that aren’t in their proper shelves, and pretty much just ‘stuff’ laying around. Except for the times when I have guests over, my apartment is usually disheveled and disorganized.

I always knew this was an area of my life that needed some change. I’ve had intervention style talks from my mom, dad, and sister – to no avail.

But, then my girlfriend decided to have a talk with me. In the middle of a conversation, she pensively paused, pursed her lips and said “Vlad, we need to talk…”

‘We need to talk’, the 4 words no guy wants to hear.

“Ya see, your apartment….it’s a mess. I love you, but I can’t deal with a messy apartment. Promise me you’ll change.”

Have you ever been so embarrassed that you were at a loss for words? That was me. I tried keeping my apartment clean, but it would only lasted a couple weeks before it became even worse then before.

So here comes my girlfriend to rescue.

This weekend, she graciously came over and helped me organize my place.

My girlfriend is a naturally organized person, so this was second nature to her. She’s the type to say her house is a mess because there’s a couple shirts on the floor instead of the closet. She was the perfect person for me to call up to help get me out of this disheveled and dysfunctional situation. I put away my pride and listened to all of her directions.

While we were in the process of organizing my room, one thought kept coming to my mind that I’d like to share with you.

Be Willing To Let Go

As we were organizing my room, I realized that I needed to throw some things in the trash. Throwing things away for me is tough thing to do. I know I haven’t needed these notebooks in 3 years, but what if I’ll need it later? Yes, this carpet is worn out, but what if I’m so used to it being here.

I’m pretty sure this is how people who ended up on that show ‘Hoarders’ started out.

As I was choosing what to throw in the trash and what to keep, I had to constantly ask myself a question: Are you holding onto this item because it served a purpose in your past, or because it serves a purpose in your present? I realized that I was holding onto clothes that didn’t fit me anymore. I had items that served no purpose other than to take up space.

And for some of us, this what our lives are like. As we go through life, we pick up memorabilia and form memories along the way. But when we get into a new situation we take all that baggage from the past and bring it into our present. The reality is, some of those things should have been left in the past.

But because it served a purpose in the past, we have a hard time letting go when they no longer serve a purpose anymore. That’s how many of us end up carrying around dead weight.

Some of us have been carrying around dead weight in the form of a relationship. You’re currently in a relationship that doesn’t make you happy, but you keep him/her around because of how they made you feel in the past.

Others of us are simply just holding onto past memories from a toxic relationship.

Some of us have been carrying around the dead weight in the form our past mistakes. Instead of seeing those mistakes as an opportunity to learn, we instead see it as a life sentence.

The problem with holding onto the past, is that you’re stuck in the past therefore unable to be productive in your present.

Is there something from your past that you have been holding onto that you need to let go of?

As I began clearing things out of my room, it was painful at first but the end result was that I could finally breathe. There was space for me walk around my room. There was space in my apartment to do new things.

My apartment, as well as my life, isn’t completely where I want it to be but it’s a work in progress. And the first step I’m taking is letting go of the past dead weight in my life.

Hey mom! My room is clean!

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I'm Vladimir, but don't ask me if I'm Russian. I'm an engineer working in Baltimore, Maryland, trying to figure out this whole adult thing. This blog is a collection of lessons and tips that I'm learning along the way of this thing called life!

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