February 12, 2011

A Note about Purging...(Stuff, Not My Dinner)

I recently got rid of many things that were weighing me down in my lifestyle, which is one of frequent moves. Getting rid of old papers, old clothing, old jewelry, and other things has really felt freeing. I also enjoyed getting rid of old correspondence that made me angry or sad, gifts from people I was no longer close with and things I had never liked. That is not to say that I don’t honor those things and those times but it is officially time to move on. I remember reading somewhere about a culture (maybe Maori?) unlike ours that teaches the moment you give a gift you release the giftee to do with it what they like! If that means regifting, repurposing or disposing in some other way, that is the giftee’s prerogative. What a freeing way to think about belongings!

I trashed a huge quantity of photos that span from when I was a teenager until my college years. They documented so many friendships, struggles, new approaches and ideas about photography I was learning in school, and of course a lot of boring stuff and outtakes too. To purge, I have to be in the right frame of mind. I often feel a wrench of the heart when I throw a stack of photos in the trash. Emotionally it’s hard. I think picking the right time to do it is important. After other emotional setbacks in my life, I tend to cling to the things that give me comfort and that is not an ideal time for purging belongings. However, throwing things away, giving things away and selling things I don’t need anymore has started feeling like making space for the new to come. That could be material things, ideas, or even people. I’m making space for the new, baby.

What do you think about purging? Do you have a different point-of-view?