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.

One thought on “attachment

  1. “It makes me think that everything I really need, I could carry on my back, or hold.”

    I’ve read up on de-cluttering and doing purges of obsolete posessions… what keeps coming up is how it’s an emotional thing, this attachment to these posessions, as if we cannot be defined without them. We give these things too much power and they take up not only physical space but mental and emotional space.

    With that in mind, your above statement I totally agree with.

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