Recently I have been seriously considering selling everything I own. Except for my laptop, a couple of pairs of jeans, some t shirts, my iPod and my watch.
I've realised just as I've written this that two of my most needed possessions are Apple products? Good God Steve Jobs! Maybe you really did change the world?
Anyway, this isn't a post about life without Apple, it's a post about wanting to be dispossessed. About my not being possessed by my possessions and disposing of them.
Are you still with me? Feeling possessed? Then call an exorcist.
The older I get the more I feel tied down by the things that I own, and I really do have a ton of stuff. I have bags within bags within bags of clothes. Shelves of books, cases of Cd's, shoes I've never walked in and coats I've only ever filled the pockets of with receipts (for other coats). I have picnic hampers that have never seen a blade of grass or a sunny day and I have a beautiful antique laundry chest, that sits empty and is covered with a fur rug. I don't need any of this stuff and yet I desperately wanted it. I loved it for a while, I clung to it, and now I take it for granted and I really don't need it.
Possessions don't talk to you. They don't show you love or encourage you to love them (unless you're high or mentally unstable). They don't work for your love or attention, they just sit there, gathering dust and keeping you in your place. Who the hell needs fifteen sets of identical white bedding? Especially when you live alone and are not planning on bedroom antics anytime soon.
The things we amass remind us of who we are and my days of being a tan leather Mulberry bag are long gone. It took me two years of therapy to be able to leave the house without a man bag. I'm rather glad and very lucky that I've reached middle age and I don't look like a leather holdall and I am no longer defined by something I have on my shoulder (therapy even got rid of the extra large chip)
Next time you see a pinched, taught, mean little face, take a look at the handbag. They say people grow to look like their pets? Middle aged gays and embittered women start to look like their handbags.
I'm enjoying the process of finding out what I really want and what I really need. No single person needs five picnic hampers, even if I have filled them with magazines, books and bottles of booze ( that I will never drink). I think I've only ever been on two picnics in my life.
I have more magazines than a New York News Stand and I haven't even read them. I probably bought them to place on my coffee table along side my coffee table books . . . and I don't drink coffee.
The more possessions I have the more confused I get. It's difficult to contain all this stuff in a one bedroom flat so things that should be in the bathroom end up in the kitchen. Tubs of Creme de la Mer sit next to bottles of ketchup, my underwear sometimes ends up in my desk drawer and my groceries sometime need storing in the wardrobe. When space is at a minimum than excess is not best.
"Going Large" "Buy Two get One Free" and "Super Size Me" aren't healthy when you have a tendency to over egg the pudding anyway. That's enough food analogies right there, a trip to the supermarket opens up a minefield of problems for me. I'm cooking for one but somehow always end up buying for four . . . and throwing away for three.
It's not greed that makes me gravitate to excess, it's probably the baggage I've carried around for many years. My life has always been about the excess baggage but now I can walk into a shop, restaurant or bar and not have to buy, taste or drink everything I see.
I don't subscribe to the "whatever you've got I'll eat it, snort it or ride it" mentality anymore and it's made me calm. I now want a simpler life, one where It's just me and my personalities (see, I can't even be satisfied with one of them). I've decided that having everything and letting it go is better than wanting everything and getting nothing. In the end, you don't own your possessions, they own you, so I'm getting rid of mine. I haven't decided quite how I am going to do it, I think it will be a mix of sell, sell, sell, give, give and then maybe I'll have a huge great fire. However I do it, I think it's time.
I'm going to end this post by saying I always felt that the Louise Brooks quote "I never gave anything away without wishing I'd kept it, or kept anything without wishing I'd given it away" was the measure of me.
But now I'm feeling this:
"What you keep for yourself, you lose, what you give away, you keep forever."
Especially if it's herpes.