Things in boxes

I am done with decluttering, done, I say!

Hmmm … perhaps that was a little strident. How about this; I’ve done enough that I can now start packing and move to my new flat. Yes, that seems more accurate.

At this juncture I should point out that I am, of course, using the word done in the more modern, eye rollingly teenage angsty way of being ‘so done’ with something. I’m, like, totally over it, yeah? (in my head that sounds way more Clueless than I’d realised. As if!).

I should also confess that I’m using the apparent difference in “being done” and “being finished” to put off making decisions about some of the more, well, frivolous items I own and whether or not to get rid of them.

I’ve decluttered my clothes, my crockery, my glassware, and my books. I’ve donated DVDs, sold some furniture, and cried my way through a couple of nights reading old letters from my Gran, browsing old photos and mementos, largely sorting through my emotions. Throughout this entire process this has been the hardest part, confronting my ghosts and myself. This Is My Life, minus the dulcet tones of Eamonn Andrews.

So with all of that done (there’s that word again) I’m left with said frivolous, un-useful, dust gathering items that I own because they make me happy – by now I’m keenly aware of the importance of tense, made is no longer part of the vocabulary, the past needs to stay there – things like my Film/Song/Book maps which I’m not sure I have the wall space for in the new place. Things like my Lego R2-D2 and Lego Space Shuttle, things like the three small busts my Uncle sculpted (three old men aptly named Hamish’s Hikers), things like the picture of my niece as a baby in a ‘favourite Uncle’ frame, things like the toy Hobbes that Kirsty gave me, or the wooden sculpture (The Thinker) that came from my (ex)in-laws.

The last few weeks have taught me a lot about myself and given me more of a desire to learn to look forward and not dwell on what is behind me. As a perennial over-the-shoulder-gazer this is not as easy as it sounds but I’m determined to learn from this. In a revelation that will be absolutely no surprise to anyone, I’ve (finally?) figured out that the decisions I’ve made may not always be the right ones but hindsight doesn’t change them, so I have to look forward and hope to make better decisions in the future, all the while knowing that I probably won’t but, hey, what’s the alternative? *

The coming weeks will see me box up my remaning belongings and start moving them to the new flat. By the end of the month I will be moved and can start adjusting my day to day to the new space; Where will I put my keys when I get home? Will the new sofa be as comfy as the old one? Why doesn’t the kitchen have at least one shelf that is cereal box height?

Such is the way of things, I’ve moved home often enough to know I’ll adjust and in a few weeks time I’ll have settled in. Just as I know that time will render this period a dull memory, and it will be the frivolous things I take with me that will burst through, puncturing the nothingness with their vivid emotions, the oil-slicked puddle in a shard of sunlight.

Where these things will fit in my new home I have no idea but they will go with me regardless. They are as much a part of me as I know, not by definition but extension. A hint at my past as I look forward with yet another new start, a fond nodding of the head, the gentle smile of melancholy.

Good or bad they will go with me. These frivolous things in their boxes.

* There is a construct in here built around perception and expectation, both things I’ve struggled with/against in the past. But life is too short, far far too short and I really need to stop these things rattling around in my head. And yes, as I grow older I have fewer fucks to give about the expectation and perception of how I live my life so I reserve the right to change my mind on all of this.


Also published on Medium.