Trash

As happens to everyone when they move, there is a lot to throw away. It’s amazing the things I have accumulated this year: 7/11 receipts, ATM receipts, video rental receipts. A lot of receipts…There are so many things I’ve saved for the sake of memories, for making the scrapbook that will never happen. I still have a museum brochure from that field trip I didn’t even like. Why would I keep that? Why do I want a memory of that? And what do I want with all those ATM receipts anyway?

Moving on is hard. I have so many clothes to get rid of. Thankfully, my beautiful English friend Alice has taken a few pieces off of my hands for me, but I’ve still got two large shopping bags worth of clothes: clothes I really should not have bought, clothes I brought with me that are just done, and clothes that I love but don’t fit my new modesty standards. (I want to respect my body more, and that includes dressing modestly.) When I was packing back in August, I was worried about bringing clothes home, but now I’m sure that I should have enough room.

What is a problem to take home is my books. As of now, my box of books weighs 25 kilos, or 66 lbs. I arrived with about 6 books. Yeah…Books happened. There’s a service to ship books overseas for cheap, but it still comes out to about $200. Ouch. If I can eliminate 10 lbs it will only be $170. Anyway, enough of the book math.

The point is getting rid of stuff is hard. Human beings just have a natural tendency to hoard things, and I am no different. In high school, I was proud of my manga collection, totaling over 130 volumes. And you know what happened? My love shifted from manga to boy-bands and almost over night I was ready to sell my cherished comics. What’s the point in saving everything if my heart may change the next day anyway? (Like that one time I decided I was no longer obsessed with Danny Phantom in a single afternoon…)

It is almost as if amassing great collections makes me a cooler person. I just want to brag about all the books I have, all the clothes I have. But in the past three years, all of my books and clothes have not been “cool”. Every time I have to move my stuff becomes a burden. I stare at the mini-van full of my dorm-room furnishings, and wonder, “Do I really have this much stuff?” And I have stuff at home as well, which means that every year the collection grows. What am I going to do when I move out of the house for good?

So here I am, packing my bags to go home. I feel embarrassed every time I throw away a huge bag of trash. But it’s worth it, because I know that 20 years down the line, I’ll look to my pictures for memories, not my 7/11 receipts.

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