Monday, August 17, 2009

This Is Your Life

This move, I've made the wise decision to purge. My philosophy runs something like this: the more I recycle/donate/throw out, the less I have to move and find a place for next weekend. It is kind of like my own personal episode of Clean House on Style Network, except there's no Miss Niecy and really it's more like Clean Storage Closet (while the rest of the house becomes a disaster).

This act of purging has been a visit to my former selves. Days of sorting through old letters, journals, birthday cards, arrow-folded high school notes, concert and musical programs, essays and tests and pictures--the stuff my life is made of--have blown on the embers of the past, firing my memory. It is interesting, visiting your life. The feelings of it all, nostalgia and gratitude spread wild and running across the living room floor. The angst-ridden residue of each letter's subject like a smooth burn scar inside me I like to run my finger over every now and again. I keep coming back to this thought: I've lived a good life. So far.

Purging has been a concrete lesson in that which matters most: material things I once thought I needed are hastily discarded, forgotten. But the sentimental pieces of my life still feel critical, my life's scaffolding, without which I might crumble. Value, when attached to all this sentiment, has become something entirely new. With the excavation of my life's artifacts, I'm realizing my own definitions of need and want.

I challenge you, look in your old boxes, in storage. See what you can rid yourself of, see what you cannot do without. You'd be amazed what it might teach you.


debilyn said...

so many sentimental things i wish i'd kept from over the years.. i've learned to be more selective in my purging episodes so that the really important things don't get lost!

Jen said...

I might just do a little of that today. Thanks!

Miss Melissa Bee said...

I LOVE this post! I have been looking at my big pile of possessions and thinking a purge was in order. I am overly sentimental about "things". I keep everything for good or ill. I also have dreams of being a minimalist, where my possessions consist only of books and other objects I cannot live without; where I only own things I truly love. Your post was an invitation to visit my life and let go of those things that don't really matter. I think if I make space, the universe will return only good things to fill in the holes. :)