As I prepare to leave the comfortable abode in this little down-under part of the world, with its pretty beaches, and my close-by family and my much-loved friends, I have been forced to face the junk building up around me to fit my life into a 55L backpack.
No easy feat my friends.
I have stuff. Lotsa stuff. Some of it practical, some not. All of it has been trashed if it has no use to any human anywhere, or has been donated to the local lifeline. My partner and I have donated bags and bags of stuff. Why did we have it in the first place? I am a serious consumerist! It’s really quite terrifying. Even to the point where I’m staring at the bag of nail-polishes I have, and I’m thinking – I don’t wear nail polish. Not really. I always think I might like to but it’s very rare. If it happens I do a terrible job anyway and have to take it off in a day or two because I hate it, or I leave it on until it practically grows out which is not really that attractive, and defeats the purpose of nail polish which I’m thinking is to be well-groomed or fashionable or something. See! I have them and I don’t even know why!
Some of them are years old so should probably be tossed in the bin, as I read in some magazine (that I have now thrown out) that they go bad after a while. Or is that another ploy to get me to buy more?
Moving on. I have been facing all of these items around my house and making 4 piles – 1) to donate 2) to toss 3) to keep at my lovely mumsy’s house for an undefined period of time, possibly years (so I have to really, really, really want to keep it) or 4) to take in my backpack.
The first two piles are pretty big. Which has both good and bad aspects. Good that someone else will get use out it, bad that I have sooooooo much stuff in my life that I DON’T NEED to begin with.
It has been a bit of a cathartic process, and I’m very much looking forward to putting minimal goods into storage and leaving Australia with my best friend and a backpack.
When you are really forced to evaluate the things in you life, you may be surprised by what you actually keep. Beautiful teapots, books, letters written in high-school, notebooks of hopes and dreams, recipes, special jewellery, photos, tupperware (that stuff is expensive!)
Whether or not this will be a lasting feeling in my life I don’t know…I would like to think that this process will be a reminder to always question things I really “need”, (one might ask how much I “need” a teapot, so I can’t be that reformed).
Even the things I am keeping today, when I return in a year, two years, five years time, will they matter as much? Will I be glad for the things I have kept? Some things I am already sure that I will be glad, as they are things I have carried with me for years already. Things I deem time and time again too important to part with.
It is surprising how much I have parted with that I have only gained in the last 2 years or less. Where has my mind been?
I have a feeling the experiences I will have over the next few months (at least) are going to open my mind in ways I can’t imagine. And that this is just the beginning.