I have a tendency to keep things. Whenever preparing to move, I face piles of saved event flyers, programs, ticket stubs, even receipts. My life is filled with small, random things on which I’ve imposed some level of sentimental meaning. If I were a diligent scrapbooker, this compulsive hoarding of paper momentos would not be such a problem.
Unfortunately, I am not. The luckier scraps might find themselves in a manila file folder– most end up in piles which first take up space on empty horizontal surfaces before being tossed into boxes and largely forgotten. When I find the wherewithal to deal with them, often months later (if not a year or two), the smile they might evoke is usually coupled with a reaction of “I really, really don’t need to keep this,” and they are thrown away.
Perhaps I felt the need to keep those bits of paper at the time because I thought that the folds in my brain would not adequately hold the memories without a trigger. Whatever the case, ninety percent of those triggers end up proving themselves insignificant.
Now into my fourth move in two years, I know that I need to change my habits. Either start a scrapbook (however purely functional and mediocre-looking), or simply stop keeping so many pieces of paper. I’ll probably do both.
The majority of my possessions sat in a garage gathering dust and cobwebs for the last ten months; I lived my pseudo-nomadic life perfectly happily without them. If everything in storage had been accidentally destroyed, I would have felt some grief, but the fact that they sat there for so long is some indication that I don’t really need them.
It makes me think that everything I really need, I could carry on my back, or hold.