18 January 2013

Another Year on The Books

I'm officially a year older.
I find this to be wonderful.

Me & my Fairy Godmother. 
I've been meaning to tell you how ready I am for this year. I started a blog draft and everything. But I felt like you'd heard it all before. I felt that I'd thought it all before. I was about to repeat myself, and I was not okay with that. So. Instead of writing, I got to purging. 

No one who had been to my place would have said I had too much stuff. They might have said I had a lot of stuff, but that it mostly appeared to be useful. They might not actually have talked about my stuff at all. The truth is, It doesn't matter what some hypothetical acquaintance might have thought. I did have too much stuff. I had too many things for which I made places, too many things around which I cleaned, too many things I thought I needed. I had started to imagine those things were consuming me. There was too much upkeep, too much finagling to make sure everything had a place that wasn't too close to any other thing. The only solution was to get rid of as much as I could.  

I went at it systematically, targeting every nook, container and storage bin in my apartment. I applied the 12 month rule to nearly everything. I assessed. I organized. I cleaned. I felt the weight lift. I accepted that I was not going to re-teach myself German, Italian or algebra from old text books. (I also accepted that you can't sell text books 10+ years after they were current.) I came to terms with the fact that I don't need 4 copies of that Shape Magazine that had me on page 88. I admitted I had no reason to keep two years' worth of magazines that I only read once. 

And WHY do I have CDs? I have redundant physical as well as cloud-based storage. It's time to upload and recycle. Yes, I have a lot of music and this will take a LONG time, but it'll be worth it to just have less. The time will come (eventually) when I'll be forced to move. Traditionally I've moved every three years. I've been blessed to have been in this place for nearly five (5!) years. So I haven't  had that "is it worth moving" discussion. I've just been importing and adding and organizing. It's been great. But it's also been a bit much.

A lot of clothes. Promise.
So I got rid of books and clothes. I got rid of kitchen items that I had stop using. I finally parted with the maps / bus passes / pieces of daily life from when I studied abroad - in 2001. That's right. I've had trinkets from Seville neatly organized and in my possession. I've moved them from Seville to Ithaca to Fargo to Las Vegas and finally to San Francisco.  It is here my essays from 2001 - 2002 will be recycled. 


I still have work to do. I don't need the international money I've accumulated since 1996. I have pesos, pesetas, lira, francs, dinars, euros, and dollars from Canada and The Bahamas. I'm hoping Pinterest will give me a creative solution. The jewelry box I've had since 1998 can stay, if I get jewelry the lock fixed. The runes from my Wiccan exploratory days are also somehow still here

Closet. Still full.
It has occurred to me - as I'm sure it's occurred to you - that I am some sort of hoarder. Last month, I would have adamantly denied that. Today, I'll still deny it, but I'll also put more effort into defending myself. Here we go.

It's just that I never thought my life would be as exciting as it is. I thought there would be time to go back and reflect. I thought I would re-read my essays on government and media and either shake my head in disappointment or rekindle my undergrad passion. I imagined I'd have time to re-read Baroque Spanish poetry - you know, to stay sharp. In an unforeseen lack of activity on either a social or professional front, I would have activities to keep my mind going. Life has steadily proven me wrong. I'm just now accepting that. I won't be replacing any of the stuff I've removed. I'm looking forward to less clutter. And now that the universe sees I have the bandwidth (as they say), I'm sure all kinds of new adventures are heading my way.