Well, we’re officially homeless now.
We don’t owe anybody rent, don’t have utilities bills in our name and Noah’s parent’s have graciously let us into their beautiful home to mess with their morning routine and use up all the hot water for the next two weeks! For us, it’s been pure luxury with home-cooked meals, cable TV and furniture! We’ve been squatting in our own house for a few months as we’ve sold/donated almost everything we own. This mighty purge has been in the works for the past year since dismantling 12 years worth of nesting wasn’t going to be an overnight operation.
But do I miss our stuff?
No. Not even a little bit. Not even all my movies!
There are 200 movies here. This was after the 4th or 5th movie purge.
I will admit that I felt a little displaced at first but it’s been over a week now since we’ve moved out and now I can only describe the feeling of not having “stuff” as climbing my way out of a weak prison made out of dust, clothes I will never fit back into and old bills from 2003 I haven’t gotten around to shredding.
Shanghai Mac & the Adventures of Craigslist
October 2011. Our first Craigslist sale and it’s literally a weight. Oh the irony!
If you’re serious about wanting to get rid of things, the first place you go to is Craigslist. We’ve met up with at least 60 people since the beginning and had nothing but amazing experiences and met lots of interesting people with a new story to tell. My favorite story though is our very first sale as it was also confirmation to us that purging our life of stuff in exchange for more freedom and experiences was a step in the right direction. So get this… out of all our ads we post, our very first sale was a 35 pound kettle-ball. Yup, a literal heavy-ass weight! Fitting right? So we’re sitting in the park waiting to meet up with a guy named Mac. We hear, “Noah?” We turn around and here was this really skinny Asian guy with a kind face. He takes the weight and does all these crazy moves with it to test it out, he makes it look like he’s lifting a black balloon over his head. Impressed, we asked if he was a trainer or did that for a living since he made it look so easy. Turns out, Mac is a personal trainer and just moved here from Shanghai. Mac had to sell all his weights to move over since the cost of shipping them was ridiculous and he told us how glad he was to find us so he could build his weight collection back up and pursue his dream of starting a Gym in Tacoma! Me and Noah flashed each other a “you’ve got to be kidding me!” look and told Mac that the reason we were selling our weight was to pursue our dream of traveling the world! We all laughed and talked about traveling, Shanghai and the differences between Asia and America. It was a really fun conversation and when we said our goodbyes we were reinvigorated and ready to make this thing happen.
Life is truly funny sometimes.
Speaking of funny, this was underneath our dining room table. We saw it the day we took it apart and it instead of being a catch-all for our crap, it went to a military family that was expecting their first child.
Bonus funny: We took a walk at the Waterfront and talked about Thailand the entire time. When we got back to our car, this was waiting for us. If you’ve ever been to the Tacoma Waterfront then you know it’s literally miles of cars, so the tea chose us I guess.
As the daughter of antique dealers I’ve been surrounded by lots of “stuff” my whole life. I used to love the look of walls completely covered in frames, the cute knick-knacks on a bookshelf, and a doily under every vase! At one point, I was convinced that I had an emotional attachment to everything in my house but as we started selling and donating things I realized that it was a facade, it was not my security blanket and each time something left, I felt a release and a 35lb. weight had been lifted.
My favorite movie of all time is Labyrinth and the scene below perfectly states my feelings towards “stuff” now. If you haven’t seen it (for shame!), Sarah the main character is off on a quest to save her baby brother Toby from the Goblin King (David Bowie!!). Anyway, she takes a bite out of a peach that makes her forget where she is, or what she was doing. She ends up in a dump and meets up with this Junk woman who tries to “help” her remember what she was looking for. She shows Sarah her old room and piles more and more of Sarah’s treasures onto her and tries to remind her how much she loves her Panda slippers, her lipstick and her stuffed animals. “It’s all right here dear, everything in the world you ever cared about, it’s all right here” the Junk lady says.
It doesn’t work. Sarah knows there’s something more important she’s supposed to be doing and remembers Toby. Then Sarah FREAKS OUT on the junk lady, “This is all junk!”
I will never be a minimalist or think that having nice things is bad but I see it for what it is in my life right now and it’s a distraction from discovering what I’m truly capable of being. It’s energy and guilt I no longer want to put upon myself and it’s my hope that I will be able to form a deeper connection to others and give them my undivided attention but shutting up that “Wow, I really should go home and dust” nagging feeling. Simply put, you can’t take any of it with you anyway… and I have to save Toby!
Next stop… being unemployed!