Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Stuff is just Things

Intuitively, I know it. I'm a rational person, after all. The things that surround me are just things. Books, lamps, furniture, all luxury items and nostalgic trinkets from my life of leisure.

There is a saying: The things you own, own you.

I hate that saying. There are people who say that you only know your full self, your fullest self, when you rid yourself of earthly desires and belongings and become "one" with the universe. Well that's not really yourself, then, is it? It's you+ Universe. It's you, 2.0. You know?

Not that there's anything wrong with that, honestly. I bet it's great to feel that way. To be One. But I'm not One. I'm not ready for One. I'm Many, and I'm MUCH, and I'm LOTS. I'm a lot of lots. Lots and lots of lots, am I. And I need that. On an irrational level, I need all of it.

Like a secret hoarder who has it pretty well under control, I need it. I need the stuff. I crave the stuff. Not in a one-ups-man-ship way, either. I need the pictures on the wall, the schmutz-pile of paperwork I haven't got to YET, the unfinished whatever... I need it. It tells me who I am. It grounds me in a way that my drifty little brainz can't yet fully accomodate.

The stuff, the things, it's all there in front of me whispering "you have responsibilities" and "you have done amazing things" and "you need to be careful that you don't bite off more than you can chew". It suggests to me that I'm human, after all. It tells me that I have a history of my very own, and a life path that is mine and mine alone. Every trinket, every letter, every unmended anything is a reminder that I am ME and I have put myself here and this is the only place for me.

I need to see it when I wake up in the morning, especially. I'm always so disoriented. Now more than ever, with my gooey think-meat awash in stress hormones and anxiety, the nightmares and the hours-long epics keep me on my feet pretty much all night and it takes a good 15-20 minutes to sort out which world I've ended up in when the alarm goes off.

I need to see it when I come home after a long workday too - when I'm convinced I'm a fraud. When I feel like I can't cut it. When I feel like I'm the only idiot in a world full of mensa's and I should really be in a pretty padded room somewhere with lots of fingerpaints and a locked medicine cabinet of my very own. I need these things to remind me that yes, I really did go to Iceland with my beloved. I really did do the Summer School in Oslo thing. I really do wear heels in public, from time to time, and I really can look pretty well put together on the odd day.

I need this stuff. I need it around me. I don't need all of it, and this moving thing is really getting me going on getting rid of a ton of stuff that no longer does me any good.

But when it comes to packing up the stuff that I still want, still need, that's when my anxiety needle starts to crack the glass. Living in an empty room is not good for me (less the situation involving fingerpaints - that'd be super!). Living in a hollow house with room after room of cardboard-ed up memories feels ... too dark for me.

It'll pass. I can survive this. It IS a good thing for me.

However, in the midst of it, the stuff that I'm packing will be glinting fresh agony at me until I can unpack it on the back end. The stuff I'm getting rid of - that feels good. The stuff I'm keeping, that also feels good. I just kinda' want to have a way set up so that I don't have to pack it up.

Stuff is stuff. It's not me. But it grounds me. And when it starts going away - I get really REALLY drifty and loose and ... and it's just not good. For anyone.

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