On Hoarding

  1. Up until a month ago I never threw anything away. Things that were perishable garbage, sure, but that was about it.
  2. I had boxes of plane tickets, bus passes, movie stubs, fortune cookie fortunes, Popsicle sticks with jokes, flyers for events I never went to, post-it notes people gave me 8 years ago, about 100 paper cranes, newspapers, chords to mystery devices, every school notebook and binder i used since high school, and that's only scratching the surface.
  3. I never knew why I kept them. Maybe I was dreaming of making a mega scrapbook of my life or that I would need to reference my freshman world religion notes? That I would want to spend my free time reliving every detail of high school?
  4. It's strange that I simply accepted things that came into my life as my possessions. I kept thinking, wow I hate this object, but it is my possession so I guess that's that. Where does this thinking come from? I surrounded myself with things that don't bring me happiness and never questioned it.
  5. So much of what I kept was unhappy...hurt letters, pictures I hated, things that had devestating memories associated with them. Constantly reliving the past stirred up so much nostalgia. What was the point of this?
  6. To make me feel gross about growing up? To remind me of some lesson I had learned? Somehow all the terrible things seemed more "significant" and thus I felt I owed them space in my life.
    Groundbreaking! I owe those shitty things nothing!
  7. Nostalgia: time making me feel sad about a time when I was very happy. What a useless emotion!
  8. After 5 years at boarding school and 2 years at college, my room in my parent's house became a sort of storage facility. There were always multiple boxes in the corners and clutter in every nook and cranny.
  9. Last month I got rid of everything.
  10. I went through everything, relived every memory each item had, then decided whether or not I wanted that memory in my life anymore. The answer was overwhelmingly no.
  11. With 10 trash bags in the hallway I felt: emotionally raw, somewhat drunk, a little lost, much older, lighter, productive, unemcumbered, surrounded by love, ambitious, AND FREE!!