Sunday, May 13, 2012

24. Donate Something I Love

I have big dreams of simplifying.  I read Thoreau and Muir and dream of giving it all up and living in a cabin in the woods.  I look back at photos from Ukraine and I long to give it up all up for two suitcases worth of life, the kitten and an apartment with 80s nudie stickers on the shkaf and no hot water.   

Truth of the matter - I have loads of things I don't need.  Loads of things that don't really make me happy.  So why am I keeping them?  

I have tons of books.  And I love them.  Almost as much as reading them, I love having them around.  There is something about them that I find very comforting.  There's a lot of respite to be found in a good book - it is one of the oldest cliches.  But I think maybe I've been using them for the wrong reasons.   Like keeping a collection of books will somehow prove my intelligence or education or intellectual prowess.  Which is all crap, really.  Holding on to a book I hated is a terrible decision.  Holding on to it because it was required reading for an incredibly difficult and/or obscure university lit. class years ago is a terrible decision.  Holding on to it because I liked the person who gave it to me, despite the fact that I had no love for the book itself, is a terrible decision.  

I decided it's time to make a good decision. Keep the ones I love, let everything else go.  I packed up a couple bags and donated them.  It was irritatingly difficult.  But as I left without them, I couldn't help feeling lighter.   

And that's worth it, I think.  In the end.  Step by step.  Bag by bag.  Little by little.  Big things happen.  

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