All that stuff

Words 6 Mar 17

I'm 38 and I've got a lot of "stuff". Practical stuff. Documents. Memories. Cards. Bottles. Game figures. Games. Stuff, you know? We've all got stuff lying around. When I moved out to my apartment in Liverpool I basically took clothes, a desk, cameras, and a computer. That was it. I had an inflatable bed and a chair to work on. 7 years later and I've accumulated a lot of stuff, which has been made worse by my dad dying last year.

I've been forced into taking on more stuff simply because I didn't want to get rid of it. For example, touristy gift shop stuff from mines we went down as a kid. I have no use for them but they've been by my dads front door for decades. It's hard to let go. The photo above is from a photo essay I produced of things I found at my dad's from my childhood. Do I need a copy of Workbench for an Amiga? No. It's not very big to keep but it all adds up. Hard to get rid of though.

Some days I look at it all and want to get a skip, bin it all and move on. It would be wasteful and costly but at least I'd be free of the burden. Is it a burden? It sort of feels that way. A burden of holding onto physical memory triggers. Why am I keeping them? Is it so in 10 years, 30 years I randomly find them when routing through more stuff and take a trip down memory lane? That's a lot of stuff to collect just for such an occasion.

In this digital age surely the best thing to do is catalog everything with a photo, bin and move on. I've stopped buying physical media if I can. CDs, books n things. I don't buy them because I don't want the house cluttered up with stuff when I can easily get the digital version. It frees you up to buy the things that really really matter. When I buy a book it's because I want to keep it forever. I only buy physical music on vinyl now for that reason. Looks better and stores nicely next to books.

But I'm still buying stuff. I've got way more shoes than I really need and loads that are broken but retain memories. I keep buying Lego figures and soon will have more than enough to joke all of my enemies with, twice, assuming I can get them to swallow them… I think I've swapped buying one thing to buying others.

I feel like I need to dump it all and reboot, like a fresh copy of Windows 95. Too many dll files in my closet. But letting go, it's silly how hard it is. We create more issues by hanging on than we do letting go. We're goldfish filling our space with junk. Bigger space? More junk. Need to be some other fish. Shark maybe? Always moving forward. Ugh, cliches.