The Weight of Objects

I’m in my final days of winter break.  And since I’ve spent most of it on my ass, I’m now scrambling to get things done.  On my to-do list for some time now, has been organizing my room.

To put things in perspective, I returned from my spring semester in May and left two storage bins full of clothing sitting in the middle of my bedroom.  When I came home for Christmas I didn’t even bother unpacking, just lived out of my suitcase.  In short, I simply dump everything I don’t want to deal with at my parents’.

Now I should probably mention I’m sort of the opposite of a hoarder. (What’s that called way?)  I get a rush from doing epic cleanings and throwing everything away (or donating it).  This was a particularly therapeutic cleaning as I was getting rid of clothing that no longer fits me, due to my weight gain as well as anything that reminded me of my ex-boyfriend.  I’ll also be turning 21 in a matter of days and it was time to make room for big girl clothes.

It was during this massive purge that I got to thinking.  Why do I love throwing things away?  Why do I resent having to hold onto anything?  Even things that some people would consider keepsakes or mementos?

But I get this uncomfortable feeling as though I’m trapped or held down by these things.  How can there exist an inanimate object that cannot be thrown away?  Even if I don’t want it? It disturbs me.

I looked on a shelf and saw the limited edition Swan Lake barbie my parents bought me (not the kind you play with but the kind that just sits in a glass case) , and I suddenly imagined this whole life for it.

When I get married and move away my mother will put it in storage.  When she passes away, I’ll read the “Jane’s things” label on the box and not bother opening it, just bring it home.  And when my grandchildren are finally forced to clean out my garage or basement after I’ve passed they’ll come across it.  And they’ll be faced with the same decision: save or toss?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a hippie by any means.  I appreciate money, jewelry, etc.  But I’m pretty sure human beings aren’t meant to live this way.  Maybe I’m being romantic but I like the idea of being able to fit your possessions in one suitcase.  Right now it feels as though these trinkets that surround me, these so-called memories, are like shackles.

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