I'm not one to buy a lot of things or to own a lot, either. I'm actually afraid of things because the more you have, the harder it is to pick up and leave. You see, for much of my adult life, I've moved around the country with a duffle bag and two small pieces of carry on luggage. (I've flown to every destination, so that's all I was allotted to bring and that's all I chose to bring.) I've found, everything I REALLY need fits into those three bags—my clothes (although my wardrobe is cut down with each move), a few books, my laptop and a few key items that make every bedroom feel like home.
But then I met Ian, we bought a car and for the first time in my life I moved WITH someone. That was a year and a half ago when we came to Jasper, and let me tell you that was probably the roughest patch in our relationship. At the time, I couldn't understand why Ian refused to, like me, leave everything behind. I couldn't understand why he wanted all of his art, a random five pound bag of loose change, a box of shoelaces and every other totally random item that he'd picked up over his 20+ years of existence. But, he couldn't. He needed those things. So he packed them up and his dad was kind enough to cart them down to us.
A year and a half later, I'll admit I'm glad Ian insisted on bringing his art. It makes our house ours. It makes it homey and unique and interesting. I'd probably even say I'm glad he brought that ridiculous bag of change. We've had a couple of good adventures with it and a few solid games of quarters, too. And the shoelaces, well, you can never have too many lying around waiting for that perfect pair of shoes.
Now, although I've done my best to accept Ian's penchant for hoarding, sometimes I look at our house and at all of our things and my breath gets caught in my throat, as I think of just how much work lies ahead when we do decide to move on. (Have I ever mentioned it's hard for me to live in the here and now, so I'm always thinking ahead, whether it be a day, a week, a month or a year?) If it were up to me, I'd ditch all my things and go right back to that old duffle bag, backpack and messenger bag. But something tells me I'll never again be able to carry all of my belongings on my body—not just because Ian has too many things, but because now I do too. Recently I bought a kayak. I have mounds and mounds of craft supplies. I have two closets worth of clothes and another closet worth of scarves. I have camping gear and art. I have books galore and a sewing machine.
I write all of this—my trials and tribulations with things—because I'm scared of what those things mean for my future. I'm scared that they'll literally weigh me down and keep me from seeing the rest of this beautiful country of mine. I'm scared that my accumulation of things has begun too early. I'm only 26 and I'm not yet ready to nest. I still have a lot of flight left in my wings. There's so much more to see and do before I start a Tupperware collection and settle into a forever home. I don't want to move tomorrow. I don't even want to move next week or next month, but I do want the option to pack up and go when the time comes.
I don't know what the answer is, nor do I know if there is an answer. I guess this is just one of those fears that will live in the back of my mind until we actually pack our bags.
Do things freak you out, too?