Yesterday, as a spur of the moment decision, my significant-other-unit and I decided it was finally time to take a trip up to my parents' weekend home and empty my room of old things. Mind you these are relics of my previous reincarnations and weigh very heavily on me--they're physical depictions of life experiences and emotions that I cannot easily dismiss nor forget...and..and...but then, a funny thing happened...
The impetus for "the decision"
I had first suggested we take this daytrip to my dear significant-other and parental-units in January, back when I first read an article by Cory Doctorow titled A journey through my junk: happy Down the Rabbit Hole day!--about his own experience emptying long-standing storage lockers and the catharticity of the entire experience.
The trip up took a little over two hours, plus a quick stop at the local Dollar General store for garbage bags, and another quick stop at the local Starbucks' drive-thru for some sustenance. The attendant at the drive-thru had a terribly nasal, female seductress voice...that reminded me of lower quality soft-porn material. But that's a story for another time. ;o)
Time doesn't exist in specific, divided segments or delineations within my mind. Most things have a beginning, a middle, and an end...but I prefer to jumble things up and access them whenever I need them. I often times bring up movie analogies in the middle of a conversation. Or pipe up with an unusual or timeless bit of insight to amuse my friends, family, and coworkers.
Having many reincarnations of lives past spent in various cities and countries, continuously swimming or looping around my mind is one thing, but having unattended physical evidence languishing back at my parents' house...was acting as an anchor. It made me feel overly indulgent, childish, and that I had unfinished business. I've tried before to make sense or plan out what I'd like to do. All that stuff that really has no use nor purpose except to stand as witness to some part of my life. Many attempts later, it was time to get this show on the road.
I've come to accept that for me, there really isn't an option of moving on from experiences, but that instead, I need to work on putting things in perspective and adding as much closure as possible. Bookends. The goal is to always continue to step forward emotionally and intellectually. One foot in front of the other. Typically things that aren't terribly hard for your usual person.
My significant-other-unit's patience and good-will were instrumental in helping me drive up there, and physically move 9 30-gallon garbage bags of property. Not only that, but his patience was instrumental as he stood-by, holding each large garbage bag open as I proceeded to put in either garbage, keeper, or donation items away. Only after I dutifully narrated each item's origins, use, dates of use, and what they'd meant to me.
All in all, only about two hours passed for the nine 30-gallon bags to be filled. So I guess that after approximately 8 hours of our lives later, we made our way back home, into our garage, thinking we'd come out of another, shared life experience that we can fondly recall as good time spent together at a later date.
Then a funny thing happened...I realized that some of the heavy emotions weren't there anymore. Things were more encapsulated and in more perspective they'd been in a while. I was able to store negative memories to their respective mental shelves. Martha Stewart would be proud of the labels I've dutifully applied to these shelves. The year 2000, along with 1982-3, has a larger shelf unto its own, capped at its end with a very large, solid, and secure bookend labeled December 31.
I am able to look at past experiences as if from a height... the height of a grown adult looking back and downwards at what had been relevant during my childhood and youth, but that now had become less consequential and definitely no longer immediate.
Oh but it's not quite over yet!
Today, I have the job of figuring out what exactly in each bag constitutes donation and what constitutes keepers. Doing this at a location remote from my parents' home makes it so much easier. These are objects now. Then again, this remaining, minor sorting is very necessary...I'd hate to throw away irreplaceable things like a signed sweatshirt from my 8th grade class (my first year in the US), or a Tuxedo Sam mechanical pencil from 1980 that my grandfather bought me on my mother's and grandmother's birthday.
Life's a box of chocolates
The lesson I'm bringing away and that makes this whole post possibly valuable to the world at large, is that, it's easier to encapsulate, decide, keep or dispose of things and (negative, energy feeding) people early-on...versus leaving things to linger as the years go by. There's a lot of years and a lot of stuff that gathers, like dust bunnies, cobwebs...or pharmaceutical branded post-it notes and pens.
I've only lived what I reasonably expect to be one third of my life on this planet thus far, but I'm humbled by the many positive and rewarding experiences that it has brought me. The negatives along with the positives. And learning to walk away FAST from the negatives, while retaining the lesson, by any means possible, is the best part. It's important to remember that purses, pens, and souvenirs don't do much to forever honor memories, but rather, tack on unnecessary luggage...and we as humans are so good about tacking on unnecessary luggage already onto ourselves and those around us. Besides why keep something silly like a souvenir or made in China memento of a possibly-important event in your life? You're not doing justice to yourself nor to the lessons life had for you at that stage of existence.
I've uploaded photos from the trip to my Picasa. Documentation is also very corroborative and cathartic. Some photos have been omitted in order to protect the innocent ^_^