There was a box that might have appeared in older photos. Its blue and gray plastic contained old art supplies from when I was in high school if not middle school. Atop those partial memories were raw materials I considered crafting into art projects and never did. Over the past week, I threw out the junk, saved the keepers or second-chancers, and am donating the rest. I researched art foundations or daycares, then realized something:
These art supplies are not valuable.
They hold value in that they’re still useable. I only threw out the dried up paints and recycled any unnecessary plastic. The rest, though, aren’t the highest quality materials around. If I ever wanted to pick up some artistic endeavor, I can go to myriad stores to buy specific supplies.
I didn’t donate it all at once.
Just the stuff I have no attachment toward, that I couldn’t sell at some flea market, and holds no personal attachment. I wrote my name on this box of supplies but its contents are dry of nostalgia. It went into the donation box. We hold to things like this too much; physically, mentally, and emotionally.
It’s OK to donate these things we carry.
If I had the downsizing fortitude to sort through this box at the old place, it wouldn’t have taken up so much space for so long, and a bag that had slipped in with either mold, mildew, or some malaise wouldn’t have caused me to feel sick throughout this particular downsizing process.
I would’ve kept everything one year ago.
I won’t have any regrets about donating anything later today because of the time I spend meditating on what I want to keep and not. These essays represent the sort of evolution I require to become the person I want to become. That person isn’t some artless, homeless, soulless individual. Rather, I want to be the sort of person that could walk through a situation, report on it, and then report on the next.
I’m writing what matters to me right now.
I tried finding better homes for these art supplies because I thought they all deserved a home with some kid that would enjoy them. That’s a nice dream. The reality is that kid, let’s call her Jane, would most likely already have art supplies, or I probably couldn’t get the supplies over to some less affluent version of Jane, even if I tried.
Even still, that Jane would probably be having more fun with digital art.
What’s the use, then, of casting a wider net than outside of asking family, friends, and acquaintances when you have something to give whether they want it or not? Altruism, ego, and making a quick buck are what comes to mind. Instead, when I find these disorganized boxes of whatevers, figure out what you love, and part with the rest. If the box just loomed in the shadows, what value was it really?
We place too much value on our unused potential.
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: Between feeling overwhelmingly sick as I was sorting through the art supplies and somewhat nostalgia, I figured there would be enough to write about on its own.|
|Related: Other Downsizing Zeal essays.|
|Photos: I was going to use the photo below as the leading photo, but then I’d have to edit the essay, so instead, the less visually catchy picture concludes this essay. It was some kind of abstract meeting of two creatures made out of mixed media.|
|Written On: August 20th [22 minutes, mobile]|
|Last Edited: August 20th [First draft; final draft for the Internet. Minus one preposition editorial change.]|