Here I am finally in Kansas City and although it still feels vaguely like a vacation the newness is wearing off. I am starting to realize that I really actually live here. Its been so exhausting unpacking boxes and trying to figure out where to put stuff. But its been great to see old friends and hang out like I never left. Thanks to those who have included me back in their lives like I was only gone a week instead of 3 1/2 years. I love you all.
I have also realized that I have WAY too much stuff. Isn't that weird? I am typically a pack rat who MUST. HAVE. STUFF. at all times. I keep every little thing that anyone ever, ever gave me. They are now lovingly stored in the basement in boxes labeled Knick Knacks/Fragile. Really? I have 8 boxes of Knick Knack/Fragile? In my mind just too many knick knacks. As I sit here blogging I can very unemotionally think about all that stuff in the basement and think, "I really should get rid of it." However, if I were to go down there right now, open one box, unwrap one thing I would decide that the entire box must stay. It just must if for no other reason then to feed my inner pack rat.
When we put the house in Atlanta on the market everything personal had to be removed. I couldn't have my books nearby or my thousands of fragile knick knacks and I realized something. I didn't NEED them. They didn't have to be right there. I lived without them for six months. And the most interesting part? I liked it.
You heard me. I liked it. I liked having my dresser clear of the clutter and debris of my everyday life. Of course that doesn't mean that I don't have one of my dresser drawers full of "junk" that seems to have no other place to live. I liked having a place for everything.
Now that I can do whatever I want in my room I long for the days when necessity dictated that I couldn't have all my treasures on display for everyone to see. I want an excuse not to have those things in full view. Not an excuse for everyone else but an excuse for myself.
When I tread down to the basement and survey all of the boxes that are mine, I think how did I accumulate all this STUFF in a mere 34 years? There are some things I know I won't be able to part with but does there come a time when it is necessary? How long do I hold out hope that someone is going to ever want to play with my Cabbage Patch Kids? Or look at the ceramic bowl I clumsily made in Kindergarten? I have tears in my eyes just thinking about putting those in the box marked Goodwill.
As we were unpacking I ran across a few photos my mom had taken of some items she had given away. They were things I remembered and probably would have told her not to get rid of. (I come by my pack rat tendencies honestly after all.) But really, looking at that photo made me realize that it wasn't the actual thing I missed but just seeing it and seeing the memories linked to the object. I asked her how she felt about getting rid of those items and she said she felt fine.
Maybe this is the answer for me? Maybe I could take pictures of some of the objects I am holding onto and then let them go? Am I strong enough for that? I don't know.
I've seen some programs on TV about people who are chronic hoarders and while I know I am not afflicted as they are I don't ever want to get to that point. I want to be able to let go but the first step always feels like a cliff.