This weekend, I filled two Hefty bags full of my belongings I was “hanging on to” and threw them away. It was the beginning of my push to rid myself of the clutter I’ve been accumulating for more than half of my life. Hoarders usually keep things because they are terrified that they will be deficient in some way because they don’t have these things: they will forget, they will need it as soon as they throw it away, they don’t want to be wasteful… (I don’t think you need to worry that I am going to hoard myself into a single room of my home. No, I keep my clutter fairly tidy – I have not impaired my mobility or anything that would qualify us as having OCD by the DSM-IV.)
I keep things because I feel like throwing things away will mean that I am going to forget the memories they are attached to. The irony is that I’m an unsentimental person saving years of sentimental objects. I have saved hundreds of thousands of pieces of paper tracing my journey through this mortal coil recounting that I don’t even look back at and events that I don’t pine for. Perhaps I never miss any of these past experiences because I know that the physical evidence is safely tucked away in boxes, ready for me whenever I need to call on them.
I shared an office with someone (Lovely Wedded Co-Worker, if you remember), who was exactly the opposite. She never hung onto anything. Every few weeks or so, she would go around her apartment and discard vast amounts of “trash” away. Her position was that it was all just meaningless stuff – stuff that she didn’t need. I’m not sure how it happened, but I woke up one morning and came to the conclusion that it was time to do the same. I am not defined as a person by a movie stub from a forgettable movie from three months ago. (I plan on saving some of the sentimental things that are truly sentimental to me, and even scanning things and saving them digitally – a myBook takes up a lot less room than three cardboard boxes full of letters from my high school boyfriend.)
My friend, K can’t wait to get elbows-deep into my boxes of stuff and help me throw things away. Her husband and I laugh that she and I are dating: we’re getting through the honeymoon period and now she wants to throw out all my stuff. But I say that with a certain amount of my tongue firmly embedded in my cheek. I’m ready to be cleansed of my stuff in an effort to not only metaphorically weigh less on this earth, but to streamline my life and to take a big leap on emotionally maturing.
Saturday was the Solstice, and six months later, I got to see my hard work applied. It felt very good. Word from the city was that we had a turnout of 2,000, and hopefully, we’ll be able to put it on again next year. I think six months is enough time for me to forget how ridiculously stressed out I was in the last week.
On Friday morning, I was on TV for promotion of SuSo – but don’t get all excited, greater Cleveland only saw my face for about 10 seconds, and my voice for about five. But, I can now say that I’ve met someone I’ve seen on TV (Kenny Crumpton), and been on TV.
Someone should have asked me the day of now what I was going to do, I may have even been flip and said, “I’m going to Disneyland.” But no, I’m going to focus back on graduate school, and working on making money with MK.
Some important things I learned that I will apply next year:
- Stay organized: write everything down; take 15 minutes a day to go over emails that have been passed, collecting forms needed for next year, keeping a file running.
- I will not be taking another 6-week class at the beginning of the summer if I am one of the co-directors for SuSo next year. I fell ridiculously behind in everything I was doing because I tried to be in class two days a week for the major month of SuSo planning.
- Wear sunscreen. Seriously, not even in a Baz Luhrman kind of way. Wear sunscreen.
Though, to be fair, I don’t think I would have been absent from StyckyWycket quite so long had I not taken on as much, I cannot blame SuSo for that. So, as I can close the binder for the most part on this ridiculously epic project, I’m going to sit back, reevaluate what extra-curriculars and developments are priorities for me, and get started making them happen. The worst way to move forward from this experience would be to not see this as a wonderful re-starting point.
I disappeared through the entire months of April and May, because both of my jobs, school, and Shaker Arts Council were eating my life. It feels nice to not navel-gaze anymore, but I would very much like some time to breathe.
CSU still managed to screw up my Financial Aid to the point where my Spring tuition had to go onto my parents credit card, to be reimbursed by my company when all the requisite paperwork gets processed. My favorite part of the whole mess: no one can tell me just how many credit hours I need to qualify for financial aid. Is it six? Four? Three? Tell me how it is that The Boy got loans for his schooling, and he took three credit hours per semester?
Shaker Arts Council has been clipping along at a decent pace. I looked at the calendar in my lunch business meeting yesterday and nearly plotzed when I realized that we only have two-ish weeks to finish. It’s really been great, but since this is my first year making sure everything is getting taken care of, on top of two jobs and part-time school, I’m really looking forward to this being over with. Then, if we are able to do this next year, and I am still wanted to be a co-director, I will at least have some better experience for how everything is supposed to go.
But, I’m trying to stay upbeat, I’m still doing a lot of learning, I think I did a lot of growing up in the last two months since you’ve seen me, and I promise I will make a better effort to not disappear for such a long time again.