I have come to a conclusion in my life. A big one. I hold on for too long. I am a holder-onner. It's not that I am a packrat, no matter what my well-intentioned husband might say to the contrary. It's not that I hoard everything I've ever had. To the contrary, I take some sick pleasure in throwing out those things which I deem worthy of throwing out. I love a good garage sale, despite my obvious lack of garage, and I don't quibble a bit about donating clothes which can no longer contain my ample behind.
It's just that I don't want to get rid of anything meaningful. Or anything that used to be meaningful. This has been coming to a head in many different arenas lately. For starters, my bloggies that I read. I love my bloggies and I read obsessively, even when I am taking an unannounced, unplanned, un-everything hiatus from posting. But here's the thing: I am reading (obsessively even) blogs that I don't enjoy. There is one in particular, and I shan't name names, who seems to feel it's her job to tell everyone else how to act all the time. Her posts are sometimes funny, but more often than not, they are ranty diatribes about why one shouldn't ever do this or say that. How terrible it is when commenters comment like this, or when shoppers shop like that.
Sometimes my annoyance at this is clearly a case of ouchie toes. I realize that I am doing something that annoys her and if it annoys her, then it probably annoys a lot of people and I don't like being annoying. This is okay. I don't mind being called out on something from time to time. In fact, if I don't know it's annoying I may never stop doing it, so I almost appreciate it. Sometimes though, I just feel, I don't know, preached to. Here's the thing. We are all different people. Every stinkin' one of us. And that means that we all react to situations differently. Some of these reactions are clearly wrong. Some are clearly right. Some are more gray area. If I am within the gray area, maybe I should just be allowed to stay there. Maybe I shouldn't have to listen once a day to all the things that annoy a single person and try desperately to make myself completely inoffensive to everyone on the planet by never, ever doing any of those things.
And all the things I don't do - I will admit, I found those endearing at first. "I know! Right!" I would think at my screen. I would even comment telling a story of how I was similarly wronged by someone doing something that had nothing to do with me at all. And I would feel all justified. But lately, I don't feel that way. I feel like the Judgey McJudgerson has got to stop. And all of that, "Put on your big girl panties because this is internet and people are horrible here," crap? Don't buy it. There are plenty of places on the Internet where people are not horrible.
And I feel like I'm singling this person out, but it's not meant to be like that. It's just that I once felt one way and now I feel another, and yet I feel like I can't quit her. Because it might hurt her feelings maybe? Or because I might change my mind again? Or because I'd miss her? I don't know. But there are more besides. More blogs that I just don't get excited about anymore.
And more things in my life. Christmas decorations that never come out of the decoration bins because I don't love them anymore. Craft supplies that go un-used because I've quit doing that craft. Books that are still boxed from my move - THREE YEARS AGO - because I don't really have any feelings about needing to find them or wanting to re-read them. I keep things, not because I need them, want them or love them, but because I used to need them, want them or love them.
And it seems to me that this is a problem. A problem I should fix. I should clean out my blog roll, I should clean out my basement, I should clean out my closet. But I am afraid. Afraid of what might happen when it's all gone. What if one day I really, really need a floor lamp, but I've gotten rid of all mine because they were just standing around in the basement, illuminating the washing machine? Or if I suddenly remember a concert t-shirt and have a horrible longing to remember it, but it's gone? Or if I wonder impulsively what happened to so-and-so who I used to read, but I can't find her anymore.
Which sounds horrible. It sounds like someone should sign me up for the repulsive show where we all point at the mentally ill and gape because they have soo much stuff! And maybe this is how it starts. Maybe in 20 years, I'll be wishing I could find my shotgun so I could scare these darn camera crews out of my living room. But I don't think so.
In any case, I'm not here to audition for a show I loathe. I'm here to come clean about something and start making amends.
My name is Jessi and I am not a hoarder or even a packrat, but I am a holder onner and I know I need to quit. I am just made sad by all the things that no longer hold any appeal. I am just depressed by those glimpses into a life I no longer lead and I want to start fresh: surrounded by the things I love right now, by the things that don't make me sad, the things that bring me joy and a feeling of connection to a larger world.
I shall start with my blog roll and perhaps this weekend I will foray ever so slightly and slowly into a basement filled with things I used to love. Wish me luck, for there may be dragons lurking in the deep. But who knows, maybe as I slowly sort and stack and think and purge, I'll find some hidden gems that still make me happy but were buried under things that made me sad.