On Top of It #11: Resolutions and Hope or Something

On Top of It #11 by Lisa Martens

Resolutions and Hope or Something

After reading “the life-changing magic of tidying up,” (intentional ee cummings-esque lower case letters), I decided to apply Marie Kondo’s strategies to my own cube.

One of the exercises is, of course, to get rid of your crap. Kondo has a gentler way of putting it—basically, you pick up each item and ask yourself “Does this give me joy?”

It seems so simple, but I had been used to keeping things out of fear–a fear I would need the item “someday.” Someday, when I go skiing, these gloves that are now covered in white paint will save my life. Someday, when I’m twenty pounds lighter, I will look awesome in this dress. Someday, when I’ve actually painted my toenails, I will wear these six-inch sandals and everyone who already knew I was hot will think I’m even hotter.

But I never thought to only keep items that made me happy. Viewing my possessions this way helped–a lot. Gone were the textbooks from my architecture days, books I had spent over $200 on and couldn’t sell back because now they were old editions. I had kept them for fear that one day I would need them for research–research I could just do by going online and searching for “how far can a human body fall before it dies upon impact?”

So I picked up all my items, even my books, and discarded whatever didn’t give me immediate joy. T-shirts exes made me? Gone. Old phone chargers from my Sidekick days? Gone. A dress I had bought, liked on the rack, but didn’t like in person? Well, there were like fifteen of those. I threw them all out as well. When all was said and done, I got rid of twelve bags of things that only weighed me down, instilled fear in me, and got in my way.

Then I realized I had unintentionally stumbled upon a resolution for 2016. Keep things that only give me joy . . . I could also apply this theory to the space between my ears. And so I’ve been throwing out all the junk that has built up in there. Negative thoughts. Frantic self-loathing. Ear wax.

This must be how new phones feel.

Happy New Year.


Lisa Martens

Lisa Martens (Episode 22) currently lives in Harlem. In her past 10 years in New York, she has lived in a garage on Long Island, a living room in Hell’s Kitchen, the architecture building of CCNY, and on the couch of a startup. She grew up in New York, Costa Rica and Texas, and she’s still not sure which of these is home. She completed her MFA in Creative Writing from CCNY. Her thesis, What Grows in Heavy Rain, is available on Amazon. Check out her website here. Follow her on Instagram here.

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