Culling personal items is a weird thing to do sometimes. I recently went through a cramped and cluttered part of my study with the intention of purging at least 50% of the items that were stacked precariously on top of each other, covered in thick solid crusts of dust. Some of the items I was able to dispose of quite successfully. Old magazines on topics I was no longer interested in made a quick beeline for the recycling bin. Other items tugged at my heart, asking to be kept ‘just in case’. Things like my old uni assignments, graded and commented on, and piles and piles of notes from when I studied two semesters of ancient Greek. Reference books from uni I’d collected in the misguided hope of continuing my studies in the PhD realm. Would I ever need them again? It seemed doubtful and yet I was reluctant to throw them away.
Framed photos of an old boyfriend made a surprise reappearance at the bottom of a box that had yet to be unpacked from my interstate move over ten years ago. This was harder to decide on, although I don’t know why considering it had been over twelve years since we had last saw each other, the parting promise of being ‘friends’ a very distant memory. Five year old calendars with cute cat photos, old cords from goodness knows what appliance, all of these items saw the light of day for the first time in months, years even.
I’ve sometime wondered, more so recently, what others would think of my life if something happened to me and they had to sort through my belongings, my life’s possessions. Would they think it was cute that I was holding on to the stuffed cow toy that moos “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” when you pressed his stomach? Or would they sigh, thinking it was one more thing to be thrown away?
All of these things needed to go though if I was serious about moving forward (a more cheerful thought). I wanted to start carving out a new life for myself, a new direction. And I couldn’t pursue this when I was holding on to so much of my past, in faded and disintegrating plastic bags. So for the first time in a long time I can see the carpet on the floor of my study. It’s a remarkable thing. Unfortunately I can no longer see the carpet in the living room, as I sort through piles and piles of books, deciding which ones to keep, sell or toss. A project to keep me busy for the next couple of weeks at least!