For the past two days I’ve been going through the five tote bins that contain everything that I own in this world. In that time I’ve emptied three of them – thrown out the contents of one and a half, bagged up one to give away and sold the rest. I have exactly two tote bins left, I want to get it down to exactly one.
One tote bin with everything I own in it. (That won’t fit in a carry on)
This isn’t easy for me because I am an emotional hoarder. I’ve had to shut off that nagging feeling every time I open a box and pull out an old sweater that I literally haven’t worn in years. A sweater, or a hat, or a freaking three ring note book that has half the pages filled with highschool law notes that I will never need again but remind me of my favourite high school teacher and the best class I ever took and the guy who sat behind me who wore imitation birkenstocks that smelled like dead rats. And then I think… maybe if I get rid of this notebook I’ll forget that class, and that teacher, and that smelly boy with the lopsided smile and that piece of me will be gone.
I can’t even remember what happened yesterday without a notebook filled with “to do” lists and scribbled reminders – so I have no confidence in my ability to remember little things – like the beach party I had at my house that had an actual pool in the basement and coconuts I made out of brown wrapping tissue that someone ended up stuffing down the toilet and flooding the bathroom. (okay, maybe some memories are better left forgotten – so it was easy to throw out that palm tree construction paper.)
Or – the little piece of drywall that I kept because it reminded me of when my best friend fell down the stairs while he was wasted and put a hole in the wall with his head. I thought this was funny, and worth remembering because he always stressed the fact that he needed to take care of me. For the record, I have never fallen down the stairs wasted. I’m only too friendly when I’m drunk – not dangerously imbalanced.
But yes, I did keep the drywall for the past few years, it has come with me through two moves – now it is in the garbage though.
The point is – it’s hard to throw stuff away. It’s taken me way longer than it should to go through these boxes because every little scrap of paper or broken pen or ripped shirt has a story, and reliving them is such a thrill. To think that it’s all going to be gone shortly is a bit hard.
But starting new is going to be pretty great.
How thrilling is it going to be in a few months to move across the country with only enough belongings that I can carry in my own two arms. Scary – but exhilarating.
So, instead of throwing all this stuff out – I thought I would write all the memories down so I can remember without all the clutter. Best of both worlds I think.
Maybe I’ll share some more memories as I progress!