cleaned, stuffed, and wrapped up
comfy clutter packed away
These past couple weeks have been a productive/emotional/physical clusterfuck. On top of that, I moved for the first time since transplanting to San Francisco in October 2011.
Moving is exhausting as it is, but especially when you’re a pack rat like me who likes to keep books, objects, and scraps for their sentimental, nostalgic value. It means that for every one of those things that I pick up to dust and decide to pack, give or throw away, I think about why I own it and if it’s a piece of my past that I want to carry forward with me. I try to be reasonable about it. There’s only so much space I have. But it’s still emotionally taxing because it feels like one long self-examination.
It’s the letters from my art camp friends. Lecture notes with elaborate doodling. Gifts from ex-lovers. My extensive sticker book collection. Self-made Halloween costumes. Fabrics I’ve bought in various countries. I can’t bear to part with such things no matter how much I don’t use them day-to-day. They’re all reminders of thoughts, moments, and relationships from over the years that were important to me. Seeing them every once in a while and thinking about that time gives me a sense of groundedness.
I think that our own personal narratives about our lives construct who we are. And as someone who has a shitty long term memory, I need these things to remind me of where I came from. Their meaningfulness evolve as I evolve, but they’re useful as bookmarks…to take me back to that time and contemplate why I was the way I was, and because of that, how I’ve become the person that I am.