[Moving Zeal] Can’t Keep Everything

If it weren’t so big, I might keep this dollhouse. I have certain memories with it, mostly good, but now it stings somberly because I never did anything with it. I’m not what inspired me to get and build such a massive, fragile dollhouse. I collected action figures as a kid, which I guess are dolls, but after we built it, it just sat, unused, becoming an object of excess that stings my childhood memories.

I have similar underappreciated objects.

Maybe we all do? The gifts we received, or things we thought we really wanted, only to become disinterested in them after we got them? Is that enough to feel shame? I know I’d like to see this go to a better home, but I don’t have the time to make sure it has its top appeal, so it’s possible it could go in the trash compactor.

What if it does?

It’s not a thought I really want to consider, but having destroyed 39.5-hours worth of donations for months, it’s a very real possibility. As I’m writing this, it sits in my car waiting to go to the thrift store this morning. I still have time to store it, photograph it, and maybe find someone that has a kid that would enjoy it…

I’ve casually thought of reusing it.

Unfortunately, I also don’t have enough physical or mental energy to go through all of that. Let’s say I found someone willing to buy it for $20. They could be a no-show, lowballer, or it could go well. It might be worth the story to tell, but everyone’s got a story, and sometimes the story itself isn’t the point, but how it’s told, so it wouldn’t be worth the time.

I remember building the dollhouse with my dad.

Just bits of memories, like how we worked on it while I was studying math homework. I remember using it to display certain objects I owned, but mainly, it was something that didn’t quite fit what I had in mind. Maybe I wanted something more stylized as the X-Mansion, which I briefly considered painting it into, for use to display action figures, perhaps as a final attempt at reusing it.

Now, it sits. Awaiting its judgment.

Why do I want it to go to a good home? Is it out of a feeling of wanting those positive memories and its potential to live on? Is it because I’m not ready to let go of it? The dollhouse came to mind as something I could donate and has mentally resided there for a week. Is this the first object I might feel regret toward giving up?

Unfortunately, I have many more sentimental objects.

I won’t be able to keep everything. Some must go. When we go, we keep nothing. The things we keep reflect who we are. Do the things we no longer own reflect that which we’ve sacrificed? What we no longer are? Who we aren’t?

Will I donate this?


Mixed, somber feelings.

Quotes: None. I did tell the donation receiver: “And I have this dollhouse, if that’s alright” as I was unloading my car. She accepted it without a word. I was still unsure of my decision at that point, but like most things in life, you’re never really quite ready to do what you need to do, so oftentimes, just getting in there and doing something is is good enough.
Sources: My personal/professional experiences.
Inspirations: Learning to be more decisive in life means learning to cut certain ties. I learned this years ago when I finally encountered the first person I could disregard: some lowballer craigslist buyer. That empowered me to cut other terrible people from my life. Before that point, I overly respected everyone, even the terrible ones. Similarly, if we hold all objects sacred, nothing is sacred. Don’t let objects or people control your emotions or memories. Let them augment or enable you to have better, more satisfactory memories, but never let them weigh you down, even subtly, like this dollhouse.
Related: Other Moving Zeal essays.
Photos: Two interior shots followed by the final shot, which I took as I drove off, with the dollhouse sitting outside. Since I brought this into the thrift store receiving bay, and this was placed outside of the thrift store warehouse, it’s likely they trashed it rather than priced it and sold it. It’s been a month since I wrote this essay and I don’t feel any sense of regret toward donating/trashing this dollhouse. Sure, I would have liked to share the joy of sharing this with some family, but that’s not how fate turned out.
Written On: December 21st [20 minutes, then after donating, 1 minute for the last four words]
Last Edited: I was late publishing this essay. I wrote it on my phone and sent it to my drafts section but I kept getting distracted by other things. Since I’m late, I gave it a better-effort second pass edit.
My big goal is to write. My important goal is to write "The Story." My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame a fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. Let's strive to be better everyday. (Avatar)