I love Stuff.
I know it’s uncool to admit this, but it’s the truth.
Minimalism and simple living may be a refreshing change for a weekend camping trip, but after a few days in the wild, I miss my Stuff. Sometimes I pretend I’m so hardcore that I could happily survive on a deserted island with some flint, a never ending supply of blueberries, and all six seasons of 30 Rock.
However, that is a lie.
Because deep down inside, I love me some Stuff.
Piles of books, tubes of colourful paints, captivating artworks, bizarre trinkets, curiosities found on the shoreline. Wooly carves, stripy socks, brightly coloured Mary Jane flats, that unworn fancy dress that I’ll never throw out. Mohair blankets, majestic wine glasses, fluffy pillows, white towels, candles that smell of precious memories.
This bird likes to nest, and there’s not a single thing I can do about it. Stuff makes my ovaries do a happy-dance.
But I’m getting rid of my Stuff …
Over the last four years, since my partner and I moved to Melbourne, we’ve spent years accumulating all the perfect Things for a cozy home. Every item, chosen with love, was arranged within our beautiful (rented) Melbourne terrace. Beginning with a blank canvas, we designed our interiors with careful consideration. We invested time and money into each high quality item, hoping it would last us a lifetime. Our home became a luxurious retreat from the daily grind.
But after four years at a fixed address, stagnant air began to collect in the corners of our home, twirling wafts of farty boredom from room to room. The world was waiting to be explored, and our house, though beautiful, was not the world. As rampant travel bugs tickled restless skin, our Stuff began to lose its shine.
It was time to hit the road, but our lovely Stuff was keeping us fixed to the spot. Suddenly, our precious Things had become an intolerable burden on our backs.
“What should we do with it?” my partner asked. “Store it? Rent it out? Loan it to family and friends?”
“I have an idea,” I said. “What if we sell it all? It’ll be cleansing. We can head off on a new adventure unburdened by the weight of Things.”
As a lifelong hater of Stuff, Ivan didn’t have to think twice. We immediately began listing it all on ebay, one item after another.
In the last four weeks, as I’ve watched my home being emptied in exchange for fistfuls of strangers’ dollars, a hundred tissues have been soaked with my tears and snot.
Our retreat is gone! What have we done?!
My precious Things!
My lovely, lady Junk!
There are people in the world who don’t have a home, and yet I’ve taken to rocking in fetal position over mohair rugs and stainless steel kitchenware. It’s hardly a tragedy, but the experience has been like watching my house burn down in slow motion over four horrifying weeks.
Cleansed? Not so much. Traumatized? Possibly.
But then I remembered what Chuck had to say:
You buy furniture. You tell yourself, this is the last sofa I will ever need in my life. Buy the sofa, then for a couple years you’re satisfied that no matter what goes wrong, at least you’ve got your sofa issue handled. Then the right set of dishes. Then the perfect bed. The drapes. The rug. Then you’re trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you. – Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
I may be a bird who loves to nest.
But for now, I want to be free to fly.
My mum always says, “The thing about Stuff is: there will always be more Stuff.”
(Where are we going? I’m not 100% sure yet, but a deal is underway right now. Hopefully I’ll have some exciting news for you soon!)
Have you ever had to give everything up to create something new? What was your experience like? What did you create from the rubble?