Saturday, July 16, 2011

Moving Day II

By the time you read this, I may no longer be here. I may instead be...there.

I'm moving. Again. Or perhaps I've already moved. The relocation of my entire life from one place to another. And you know what I realize? Many of these things I do not want to move.

This goes beyond the feeling of, "oh, it's heavy, and I don't want to pack any more boxes." My legacy to myself is that I was a pack rat for the first two and a half decades of my life, and I've been gradually weeding through the nonessentials ever since...while still adding more and more geeky collectibles and electronic media to my collection of stuff. Y'know, the kind of stuff that is acceptable to hoard.

Packing up the CDs and the DVDs and the video games and the Mega Man figurines and the Star Trek ships...that was satisfying. Packing up the comics was nice, but I wondered how many of those I'd actually go back and read. Packing up the old textbooks from my college courses felt more like an obligation--many of them I've never even opened (because the teachers never ended up using them, mind you), but I hang on to them in case I ever find a renewed interest in the subject matter or need them as reference material for a job some day.

I'm even becoming detached from my posters, which were previously some of my favorite things. The variety of adhesives I've resorted to using over the years has taken its toll on many of them, and even the easy-to-remove 3M tape with the pull tabs is known to get stuck and tear the paper on occasion.

I could frame my posters, but that would be impractical and expensive, not to mention that some of my favorite posters are already worn enough that they just wouldn't look right in a frame. I try to handle them gently and treat them with care, but I know that every time I move, I roll that die to see whether my posters will succeed on their Fortitude save and last through another home.

I am deeply grateful for the help I've received in packing and moving, because I have accumulated more than I know what to do with, and I need other people to help me get everything sorted out. When I unpack my boxes this time, I don't plan to take everything for granted--I plan to give my stuff the critical attention it's long been due, so that the next time I move, I won't have to deliberate over packing the items I don't want and don't need...because they'll already be gone.

I think I'm finally ready to let go of the notion that the things I haven't touched in years might someday come in handy, and justify the decades they've spent gathering dust and taking up space. I'm a sentimental collector, so it's not as though I'll be tossing entire boxes out the window all willy-nilly, but I think it's time that I sat down and had a talk with the pretty set of colorful markers that dried up in the mid-90's.

I don't know where my priorities will be in the future, but I know where they are now, and it's where they've always been. I think it's telling that the rings my fiancée and I will wear when we get married are packed away safely with my Nintendo games, to make sure that nothing happens to them.

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