Wednesday, August 11, 2010

This culture of stuff

Packing really makes you realize how much stuff human beings have the tendency to collect.

I have piles of magazines. Papers everywhere. Books that have to be divided into "taking it with me" or "not taking it with me". Bobby pins in every crevice of my desk and carpet. Don't even get me started on what I'm going to do with my CD collection.

This month, I have not bought a single magazine. A big thing, coming from the girl who once told her mother that magazines were her vice, since she didn't smoke or drink (the second-latter has since changed - ah, wine). Magazines were what got me into design, which led me into my current (but soon to be gone) position in marketing and graphic design. And yet, I look at these monstrosities of piles, and wonder how I could possibly have bought so many monthly collections of glossy pages. I am a notorious information junkie, but my RSS feed fills my information quotient on a multiple-times-a-day basis. PLUS there are so many great digital magazines out there now, such as Lonny. Oh, Lonny. I really heart you badly.

I am a lover of the literal page, but I'm seriously considering getting an iPad or a Kindle to minimize the stuff I have.

Let's face it: I love my books and magazines, and I love being able to reach out to the shelves at any given time to pull out old favourites (The Bell Jar and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes were two books that had me reminiscing tonight). I love remembering where I read - and often reread - these books. Excuse my French - packing up books really blows. Despite having moved before, this is the first (and ideally, last) time that I am leaving the family nest. It is forcing me to think about what I need versus what will comfort me. I have ongoing piles - things to recycle, throw out, give away. If I hadn't been such a collector, would I be here tonight, in this organized mess of a room?

I don't know if I'll ever be the kind of person who will be able to pack all of their belongings into whatever they can hoist onto their back, but I am really considering hypnotism or a trip to the dump to get me into the mindset of minimalism from now on.

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