I #KonMari’d My Career Before #KonMari Was a Thing
Aidee Chavez Frescas
Three years ago, before #KonMari went viral, I had over 300 pairs of jeans and more shoes than I wanted to admit. The one extra room in my house that was supposed to be my office was clogged with items I purchased at Target and T.J. Maxx just because they were on sale. I had more clothes for the “what ifs” of my life than for any other occasion.
I’d say to myself: “What if I have to go to an important gala? I need all these dresses! Or: What if I have friends over for a movie night and they forget to wear comfy clothes? Clearly, I have a responsibility to keep these sweatpants.” And, besides—What if low-rise jeans come back in style?
Yes, I binge-watched Marie Kondo's Netflix debut, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.” Quotes like, “The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life,” or, “The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past,” from her book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” make me even more invested. But it wasn't the show—or the KonMari method itself—that saved me from my obsession with clothes and shoes. Instead, it was a bigger issue: dealing with the internal belief I had been carrying with me my entire life about money.
I had a huge mental block around money. For too long, I believed I had to work really hard, long hours to make the money I wanted to make. It was as if I was punishing myself for making the amount I deserved. I’ve gone through my share of self-punishment because of shame, but this feeling was new, and I couldn’t figure out how to move past it. I felt stuck. I went from sitting in front of a computer for 12 hours a day in corporate America to sitting in front of a computer for 16 hours a day in my house. I got what I wanted, I was doing work I loved doing as a social media manager, but I was still carrying the badge of busy with pride. I knew there was a better way—there had to be a better way. Instead of working harder, I wanted to work smarter. I knew I had to go deep to really fix this problem from the root; I needed to rewire my brain and create a new (better) belief about the value of my time and how I earned money.
I started with a bunch of money mantras, but mantras don’t work on their own—they need action. So, I decided to put my closet on sale. I started small, but I wanted to prove to myself that making money didn’t require so much of me.
It was hard, because I found myself attached to dresses I had never worn. But once the first $15 hit my PayPal account, something inside me changed. The first month I made $500; last year I made $3,000 by selling my clothes. Clothes I didn’t need and, in hindsight, didn’t even really want—and certainly don’t miss.
The extra room finally became my office; an office where I don’t have to move things out of the way before I can sit down and work. It’s neat, and clear of clutter, and it helps me accomplish what I need to do. And most importantly, it actually brings me joy.
I also became much more conscious of fast fashion. I used to just buy things because I liked them or they were on sale, but now that excuse feels wrong. I think more about the durability of items and where they are made. Fast fashion feels like fast food—and just like fast food, I only buy it when a night of heavy drinking is involved. All those clothes I had, all that stuff, was energy—and it carried the energy of where it came from, how it was made and the intention of producing it. I believed that, in a way, it blocked the natural flow of what was trying to come in (and flow back out) of my life for many years. When we buy the things we need from sustainable sellers—and connect that with empowered actions and choices in our lives—we clear the money blocks to abundance.
Ultimately, my little experiment worked. I became much better at charging my worth, I now work with fewer clients for double what I used to charge. It feels right. I get to hang out with friends, have long lunches and dinners with my boyfriend and, in general, enjoy my life a lot more. I still have days where I have to work 16 hours and I still have other hang-ups around money. But, I’m OK with that for right now, because I’m aware, and working on them, and I’m confident I’ll figure out a way to get better at it. The self-work road never ends.
I needed to prove to myself I can obtain money without killing myself in the process. What’s important is that we create space in our lives, in our minds and in our hearts; that we stop this cycles of more clothes, more things, more work just to pay for it all, just to fill in the spaces in our lives meant to be empty and left open for reflection. When we do, we open the door to amazing possibilities. When you are surrounded by things that are a direct extension of your essence, you will truly have come home to yourself.
Aidee graduated from High Point University with a B.S. in Business Administration and Marketing degree. She worked in corporate America for 6 years, and has been restless most of her life. She spent the majority of her 20′s dissatisfied, trying to heal from an eating disorder, married, divorced, and chasing some sort of American dream. But, as late twenty-somethings do she calmed down and moved to India, where she volunteered and went to yoga school to get a 500YRT certification. This is where she found her calling. Aidee now owns a social media company, and volunteers as much as she can.