So I’m about 3/4 packed up… 6 days to go til I have to be out. Just the big furniture things which the movers are taking to storage on Thursday. I’ve been taking boxes of stuff over there already and there’s 43 boxes of stuff lined up against one wall like a giant Tetris puzzle. Funny how when you look at a wall of a boxes and think that it contains your “life”. In a way it’s just stuff. Things that when I look at they make me happy. As I’ve been packing my stuff it’s given me a lot of time to think about the things I’m packing and why I’m keeping them. I do have a hoarding trait but it’s because of my upbringing. Since I was born, this is my 18th move (I think, and not that I remember all of them of course). But I’ve become a pro at moving in a way. And it’s partly the reason that I want my land and to build my house. To plant MY roots. I’ve never felt like I belong anywhere, that anywhere felt like HOME.
When someone asks you “where are you from” how do you answer? The place you’re born? the place you grew up? Your hometown? For me it’s not an easy question to answer. I was born in a foreign land that my parents lived in for a few years, growing up I never lived anywhere for more than 3 or 4 years until I came to Australia when I was 13. And my hometown is the place I live right now by default because it’s the place I’ve lived the longest. I don’t have any affinity to this place other than that. So I guess my quest for land and to build a house on it is in a way my quest to stake a claim in this world and make it mine. And hopefully something that my children will think of as theirs. The future is uncertain but it’s something I hope they will feel.
When I look at the things I’m packing, a lot of them have memories attached and I think that’s why I hold on to them. Because growing up and moving so much I was never allowed to keep things. I feel silly for holding on to two boxes of Barbie stuff but the feelings that are attached with that stuff are so intense that I don’t want to let go of them yet. It’s memories of my childhood and the place I was when I used to play with them every day for hours on end and make clothes and furniture for them. There’s like a golden movie haze that I associate with that time. My Dad built me this giant Barbie house and I was SO thrilled to have it. I remember sneaking down to the basement to watch him build it and wish he’d hurry up so that I could put all my Barbie furniture in it and start playing with it. Like a lot of my childhood toys I don’t remember what happened to it but I can see it so clearly and still treasure it whenever I look at my Barbie stuff.
I guess packing up your stuff stirs things up. Makes you evaluate your life and your “things”. Makes you remember the memories attached to certain items. Funny but I miss my stuff already even though I know it’s all in boxes in a storage warehouse. But the things I own make me happy and dare I say it, define me. They make up my past and present. So with them all locked up in boxes in a warehouse it’s freeing and saddening at the same time. Because it is just stuff and life is made up of more than that.
Anyway I’m insanely tired and as you can read, probably over emotional. Just another step in the journey. More ranting and housey stuff another time.
Have a great day 🙂
Really enjoyed this article and found myself nodding my head in a few spots:
It’s kinda what I was getting at in a previous post – making a meaningful contribution to the world on a daily basis. In my previous job I didn’t think what I did was meaningful, in fact I thought it was downright useless. If I stopped what I was doing the world wouldn’t stop turning and people would still go about their normal lives. There was a point to it for my organisation of course but it was pure desk dronery and paper shuffling to me. My new job, which I started in October, is a little different. I feel like am making a contribution to something a bit more important but it still smacks a little of “busywork” in the grand scheme of things.
I like to think of the usefulness aspect in terms of a zombie apocalypse. If shit hits the fan (and the fan is on high) and normal civilisation ended, being an executive desk drone is not very helpful or constructive. You can’t effectively slice a zombie up in a flurry of a thousand papercuts, staple their brains out or stab them in the eye with a hole punch to save your life. Unless you were a prepper during your home time you’re not going to be able to contribute to what remains of society in any beneficial way except for maybe sending out a memo to get the fk out of town and cc-ing in any living people.
Ultimately to me it comes down to striving for meaning vs working a job for money to pay the bills and be a good consumerist. Of course my definition of what is a meaningful job would be different to yours as I’m sure there are some desk drones who love their job and get a massive sense of satisfaction and significance out of it. And if so, good on them. For me I just want something more, I need more meaning and more constructive usefulness. What that is exactly I don’t know yet and I’m still searching for it and a way to survive while doing it. I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up (something I refuse to do by the way) but I guess along the discovery road I want to learn some essential skills so that I’m not killed off or left for dead if SHTF in whatever form that happened to take. And even if it didn’t, just to be a little bit more self reliant and less consumerist works for me while I’m plodding down the road of life.
Anyway my desk is calling – there are some papers to be shuffled.
Long time no see! Not much happening at the moment in the property market. I’m still checking the new (and price reduced) listings going on but there hasn’t even been anything worth looking at lately. Bit awful really and its just a reminder to keep my chin up and that good things come to those who wait. I know the right property will turn up when I’m ready and as I said before I think I need to sell my house first and then hey presto the new property will appear.
For some reason my mind has been turning back to my grandparents on my Dad’s side. They were avid gardeners and I think I’ve inherited their green thumb as well as their gardening books. They had the most beautiful garden at their house down at the coast and transformed their little back yard into a big veggie patch with fruit trees and 2 avocado trees that me and my brother had sprouted from seed. I’d forgotten about those trees until a recent conversation where a friend of mine from the US told me that she’d never tasted avocados (shocking I know! ;}). I wonder if those trees are still there, one day I want to go and find out.
The fact that my grandparents had turned their little patch of dirt into a functioning food forest intrigues me now considering that that is what I’m aiming to do. I’m already following in their footsteps as my current place has an apple, apricot, plum and olive tree plus my little 4 bed veggie plot and herb bed. The property that I want to move to will have all of this and then some on a much grander scale as I’d like to provide for others too but it’s strange to realise that I’m following in their footsteps without really realising it.
In reality, farming your own back yard is what everyone of the older generation used to do out of necessity to survive and it looks like we’ve lost the ability to support ourselves due to technology, agriculture, convenience and lack of time (due to needing to work for money). This picture sums up a lot of my thinking recently:
What I do on a daily basis boils down to shuffling paper for no real worth. If I didn’t do it the world wouldn’t come to an end even if my paycheck did. I’m tied to this job because I need the money to pay my bills and keep a roof over my head and food in my belly. But essentially it’s worthless. I have no satisfaction, I produce nothing and I contribute nothing to the world. Just another desk drone shuffling papers. And it annoys the fuck out of me that I’m forced to do this for the filthy lucre.
Part of the reason that I want my property is to reduce some of that feeling of uselessness. To be able to produce my own food, or part thereof. To install solar power panels so that I’m not reliant on the grid. (bit of fuckin peace and quiet from my damn neighbours dogs!!). I’m still going to need to work to pay off the land but at least in the interim, the small things will make me feel like I’m being part of a solution and self reliant rather than just another consumer.
And to kinda tie in with all of that, the below link is another part of the reasons I want to do what I want to do and is well worth a read if you’ve got some time:
back to the paper shufflin… ;}