And then it struck me
It's always after I say something that all of the stupid or inaccurate bits about what I've said sink in. And I guess it's no different with this blog. Within about an hour of my last post, two things sank in:
- How silly everything I wrote about downsizing sounds when put in perspective.
- How relating my experience with downsizing fails to capture the reality of getting rid of things.
So, first things first - the problem being - I have too many things. When I look at this in the grand scheme of things, the fact that I'm writing a blog about the trials and tribulations of downsizing sounds borderline offensively ignorant and pampered. There are so many people, everywhere, who do not have enough. They don't have the luxury of getting rid of anything and many are struggling to get by. And when I take a moment to step back and look at it like that, I feel very silly and small. That, if nothing else, helps me to accept that what at times feels like a huge ordeal is actually a minor inconvenience. Heck, I feel guilty about it.
So, there's that. But at the same time, for me, it is a legitimate issue. Looking through the lens of the average lower to middle class American, it's probably not an uncommon problem to have. And, if what I write here is honest and relatable, makes someone laugh, helps someone deal with a similar situation, or even just provides an amusing window into a life that can't be experienced firsthand, then I'm doing good.
And then, there's the second bit. I feel that what I wrote made it sound like I was just serenely dealing with my situation. It sounds pretentious and like I'm sagely relaying some deep-found wisdom. It wasn't my intent when I wrote that all out, but then, I'm socially awkward for a reason. What I wrote was the clean, distilled, useful information I came away with.
The reality, is that on one long day of going through books, belongings, memoirs, furniture, boxes of art supplies and committing them all to the "go" pile, I was so emotionally wrung out and pissed off that I broke down crying and couldn't even form a coherent sentence for about a minute (much to The Sir's befuddlement). It was literally laying a hand on a book that I knew needed to go that flipped my composure from calm to emotional turmoil.
One thing I've identified for myself as a fast track to becoming really upset, really quickly with getting rid of things is this: the entire concept of 'everything must go' is equal parts liberating and infuriating. On the one hand you no longer have all of these things to deal with, and on the other, it feels infinitely wasteful- you are tearing apart everything you've worked to assemble. And it isn't hard, when I look around at all of these things to just jump the logical gun to the land of, "Why don't I just throw everything away?! What is even the point of all these things?! You don't need any of this- just chuck it all and be done with it." Needless to say, those are a lot of strong emotional responses to have bouncing around in your brain as you try to make logical decisions.
And that's where we get into the paradox of how a situation that I logically know is a luxury to experience causes me a decent amount of stress. First world problems at their finest...
On an almost entirely unrelated side note, thank you to the people who read this. I'd be writing it even if no one read it, to be honest, but it is encouraging to know that it has an audience. Also, should you ever feel compelled- don't let it die as a thought in your mind! - Add a comment. As much as I love monologuing endlessly( I don't), I'd love to hear the insight of others and am happy to answer any questions.