I have been moving into my new apartment for three weeks. The unfinished project is not due to a lack of motivation, it’s just that I have so much stuff.
I think my personal obsession with material objects began when I was six years old. My family moved from Oregon to Virginia, leaving most of our belongings in a storage unit on the west coast. We had every intention of coming back for our stuff, but money got tight, and following company policy, all of our things were either sold or thrown away. Pictures, childhood memoirs, clothing, prized toys, my mom’s high school year books – everything was lost. The only things of mine that had gotten shoved into the van for the long trip home were two Cabbage Patch dolls, sisters named Sabrina and Stephanie. I still have them.
Even after moving to Virginia, my family never had a permanent home until I was fourteen. I only stuck around for three more years, then began my own legacy of apartments, split-level homes, and friend’s couches. I feel like I have been moving my entire life, and combined with the fact that I rarely throw anything away, moving has felt like a continuous and monumental task. My friend Sam has been with me through several of my last moves, and recently has become very concerned about my “preliminary hoarding.” With her help I have let some things go – clothes from high school, pens with no ink, outdated jewelry. However, when she urged me to get rid of two berets I have had since my west coast life, I refused. I don’t want to lose my stuff again, even though she keeps telling me that items and memories are not connected. Continue reading