Still have the entire Twilight Series gathering dust on your bookshelf? Same.
It’s incredible really, the amount of stuff I own.
These things have crept their way into my life like relentless suitors: in that they are sometimes well-intentioned but mostly full of shit. Unfortunately, I have no one to blame but myself. I take in these orphans, store them away, tell myself that I WILL make that dress or fix those shoes or wear that necklace. I WILL repurpose that shelf. I WILL read the entire twilight series again.
Before every move, I tell myself the same thing: “everything I own must fit in one bag”. Yet despite this earnest declaration, I have left this house with more than a car’s worth of crap that is spewing out of the edges of my life here.
Why do I hold this stuff so close?
It’s certainly not the dollar value of any of these things. Nothing I own has any monetary worth, and yet I agonize over parting with these things as if they were all priceless artifacts.
No, I think the reason I am loath to part with these material things is that each piece tell me a story. Each item in my life whispers to me.
When my fingertips brush across the carved wooden stool beside my bed, it reminds me of the day we found eachother in a dusty op shop in Miramar. I chuckle when it recalls the horrible cat fabric I stripped from its cushion.
The three toy cars that have been parked in my cabinet have crossed oceans with me. They tell tales of long delays at foreign airports with free sweet buns, of wildly dangerous tuk tuk rides down lamplit Jakartan highways.
It seems childish, but I feel I am the sum total of these things. The story of who I have become weaves through these bits and pieces.
For a long time it felt like without all this stuff I would have nothing to say, no story to tell, no evidence that I have not entirely wasted these 25 past years.
These things felt like the only proof that I have ever had any plan*.
Departing from much of this stuff makes me ache in my tummy. The memories remain, but I wonder how long they will linger.
For now they are here, snuggled up under a quilt in the back of my mind, warm and safe. When they choose to leave I imagine they will exit quietly, with little fuss, through the back door. Perhaps as they do they will scratch a small inscription into the room where they lived. Initials and a date, before closing the door gently behind them.
*To be honest there usually is no plan. And, for the most part, I revel in the glorious chaos of it all.