A Green Spin

Do our possessions hold us back?

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Do our possessions hold us back?

I find it very, very difficult to work in my bedroom.

I blame this on many things: the theory that you shouldn’t work in the same room as your bed and leave your bedroom only for sleeping; the fact that I have a tiny laptop which I deem to not be work-conducive; my room is always untidy, etc. etc., and so on.

But since I’ve become involved in the minimalist movement, the items I own have come under great scrutiny. Project 333 has made me purge myself of most of my clothes (but I still have many, many more clothes than 33!), I have ‘digitized’ my important paper documents… but I still feel great dissatisfaction with the items I have. Why is this?

  • They represent ties to the past. Books from childhood. Gifts you’ve never used, but feel bad about throwing away. Emotional attachments. Letters from old friends you haven’t spoken to for five years. Clothes you wore when you were a kid, or when you were thinner or fatter.
  • They represent commitments to money. All those books from university first term that I never read! Gifts that you’ve never used but you know are worth a lot. Investments you made into certain hobbies.
  • They represent unfulfilled dreams.

This final one, I believe, is the crux of it all. I would say at least three quarters of the books on my shelf are still there because I haven’t yet read them, or I feel bad I never read it and now I’m not interested in it. My wardrobe has clothes that I want to wear but don’t look great on me. There’s jewellery I’ve never worn. There are craft-making materials, papers and glues and strings and cords, that I bought during my craft-making era but now am too embarrassed to throw away. There are notebooks I haven’t filled (at least 20). There are paints I haven’t used for years. There are dance shoes and DVDs I don’t use anymore.

If I actually went through my room, and filled up just one box of items that I could take away with me, I think I could easily do it. My camera, my video camera, my laptop, a few excellent books I love, pens and paper, a few notebooks, all my travel kit, my favourite dresses and shirts… and I do this pretty much every time I go abroad. Yet even when I’m abroad, I don’t feel free. You know why? Because I’ve left my room behind me, an almost ‘false impression’ of me.

My room isn’t me, and I want it to be.

What does your room say about you? Could you fill a big box full of your possessions, and be happy with just these?


Written by Peppidee

June 8, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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