My anxiety levels are beyond belief right now. I’ve moved over three carloads of stuff to the new apartment yesterday, but today I woke up with a vicious headache, and I have plenty more to go in the week remaining before I had over the keys to the old place. I feel like if I don’t screw up and if this headache doesn’t kill me I could actually do it. Then I look at everything…
Why do we cherish objects so much? We live in this age of abundance where once we gather enough marketable skills, we will have enough steady income to splurge on clutter, even if we don’t have enough space or money to afford it long-term. So we get the object and immediately it holds a certain value. It’s good and fine for some things, but if your screwdriver breaks, you’re probably going to quickly replace it.
I’ve collected all these things to satisfy, distract, my inner demons. When I’m in one of these more intense battles of the mind, “a fight for my soul,” what helps me though is usually some new little distraction. My inner critic, so powerful that anything anyone says is but a whisper in comparison to its screams, enjoys these plastic distractions. Sometimes sleep helps as well. I hate not having control over my thoughts like this.
I’ve been under constant, near-intolerable stress, daily for the past three months. By the time this essay publishes, I’ll have 11 months left on a 1-year apartment lease. I’ll need to downsize everything even further to afford a cheaper apartment, however, I’ve budgeted enough for this year of casual downsizing. These past three months have been rough, but this past week has been rougher. In this marathon homestretch, I’m so close, yet so far; fatigued; exhausted.
For the foreseeable future, I will live with my possessions mostly in boxes, not being displayed or outwardly enjoyed, doubtfully even under the same roof, and certainly not readily available. This is the path I’ve chosen. I’ve learned much along this journey, so far, and I still have months to go before things normalize. I’m only now learning the value of space and objects. If I want to read something, I’ll box out the time.
After over twelve weeks of addressing clutter in all areas of my life, I have to learn to get used to empty [shelf] space. Even three months ago, I couldn’t leave any surface without something to fill or clutter it, yet now, I almost struggle to fill the shelves with stuff. I will probably half-fill this plastic shelving unit I cleared off over the next few days, but it’s not the urgent rush it’s been.
Putting away these 90s X-Men toys has been the hardest thing for me to do since I began pummeling my psyche’s hoarding tendencies after Thanksgiving. I kept a majority of my stuff, donated some, but these… they impersonated many of the same toys I had as a kid. I still have them all. Whether they’re painted over or not, I boxed them up fairly easily, but these were harder. I’m trying to figure out why…
About once or thrice a week, I’ll imagine that I’m not actually moving. It’s not that something will snap me out of it. Looking at an empty space won’t remind me that this is all real. It’s usually just an instantaneous thought, my mind, in disbelief, struggling to catch up with inevitabilities, innocently screening my mind with memories of life a year or five ago. It’s like how photos can really make us time travel…
I’m frustrated over my lack of progress. In life, my writing, my moving-out process, and everything. I’ve tried decreasing my impossibly high standards for myself. Maybe that goal is exacerbated by my one goal: writing. I balance that singular goal out with procrastinative activities when I’m not feeling well. It helps. Still, I’m frustrated that I’m not further along, which is weird. I was just told, to paraphrase, that I have an incredible work ethic.
I will soon achieve the goal of publishing my first book, entitled, “Moving Zeal: A psychological study examining the decluttering and de-hoarding process as a means of self-discovery.” This ebook, with a possible limited print run, will be an anthology of the best essays originally published on this website. Through this moving process, I’ve learned a lot about myself and my attachment to materialism, and so the book’s intention is to share that learning process.