Being constantly on the move for the past 29 years has allowed me to reflect on this concept quite often. Every time I have to pack up my things and move them across the state, or country, or world, I get the opportunity to consider each object, and to weigh its role in my life against the effort that I expend on its upkeep. Right now Nikola and I are starting to get ready for our move back to Bulgaria. He came here with most of the stuff that he owned, and I had no small amount either. Since we have been here we have accumulated a lot in the way of dishes, small furnitures etc. Now we have to consider each thing and question whether it is worth it to move it back to Bulgaria with us, or to leave it here and replace it when we get to Bulgaria, or to leave it out of our lives forever. These are little things that should not be a big decision- clothes drying rack, shoe rack, brushes I don’t use now that I am dreading my hair etc. However, I come from a background of scarcity that promotes hoarding things once I actually have them. So, even though I have not used that round brush in months, it is still there, because hey, it cost me 10lv and I *MIGHT* need it someday.
I remember the conversation that I had with Cyrano back in the day when we were taking her jeep on a road trip. We discussed ownership and responsibility. I am not sure if we were talking more about the car or about our relationship, but now I am concentrating just on the material side of the conversation, and not on the interpersonal allusions within it. Everything that we purchase is a tiny investment. Some things we don’t even realize that we are investing in, while others have immediate value. However, the investment is not just one of finances. It is an investment of the space that they take up in your home, and an investment of the time that they take out of your life- in upkeep and actual use. Eventually, when you buy things you have to ask yourself whether they are actually adding to your life, or are distracting you from living a happy life by adding more responsibility without enough of a return. A bike was a great investment for me. I get such joy from it, despite the pain of having to store and move it. A bag of beauty supplies accumulated over the years really just serves to make me feel guilty everytime I look at it, and to consider my ideals of beauty. Do I really need nailpolish? But do I really not need it?
My camera decided to have a little freakout over the sand on the beach, and my first instinct was to start looking up new compact dslr’s. I didn’t even stop to really consider how often I use my camera and whether I actually believe in this false, documented life that is currently popular. Once upon a time I decided that I was against cameras, as they pull you out of the moment that you want to capture, but now I realize that cameras have become so ingrained in society that I cannot imagine not being able to upload my pictures to facebook and “let everyone know what’s going on.” Why?
Part of me is really aching for the minimal life again. Maybe I have been out of the field too long, I am not sure. But more and more often I find myself daydreaming of a life where I do not check my email more than once a week, and where I do not even have lights in most of my house, so that I can enjoy the rhythm of the world rather than conquering it. I dream of not owning a cell phone, and of gardening and doing yoga and talking with the same people every day instead of trying to hold ties that are stretched out over the atlantic and two continents. I somehow don’t think that Nikola would appreciate that lifestyle though. Something tells me that he needs his computer/technology in order to be happy, which makes sense. Taking away his computer would be a lot like taking away my writing. The only difference is that I am able to extract my expression from technology whereas he does not get to choose his medium.