I haven’t been around for that long, in the grand scheme of things. But I have been around long enough to collect a few grey hairs and a ton of possessions. When it finally came time to pack up my life in Australia and move overseas, I had the excruciating job of working out what to keep, and what to get rid of.
As a composer, I had collected my fair share of instruments, microphones, and a random assortment of hardware. Not to mention 100+ CDs.
As a sound editor, I had hoarded bits of metal, plastic and junk that made noises.
As a writer and a reader, I had filled a couple of bookcases.
As a machinist, I had accumulated a stash of tools and other bits of junk.
As a cosplayer, I had made a few costumes which were still in the garage.
I also had a car, a bike, gym gear, desks, couches, and more.
What the crap was I going to do with it all? How did one possibly decide what to keep out of all that?
My best mate and colleague in Aus has a great philosophy about moving that turned out to be invaluable when deciding what to do.
I like dumping everything and moving light. Because it reminds you what’s really important in life – people. When you know next time you move you’ll dump things, it stops you from getting attached to them.
This was a helpful mindset to adopt, because I was unable to afford moving all my stuff to a tiny little island in the Pacific. I found no companies that cheaply shipped from Australia to Saipan. It would cost thousands to ship everything I owned, and we couldn’t afford that on top of the cost of visas, flights, and everything else.
In the end, I narrowed it down to clothes that suited the climate I was moving to, a few pieces of technology I couldn’t easily replace, two guitars, a mandolin, some keepsakes, and toiletries. That was it.
When I moved into my last place in Aus, I packed a small truck with my stuff. When I moved to Saipan, I pushed it on one luggage cart.
Everything I couldn’t bring with me was given away, sold, or left piled up at my parents. I’m not sure they appreciate the extra clutter.
I really miss the people. And I sometimes miss the oddest little things; a garlic press or a screw driver. But you know what? I don’t miss most of the stuff.
My wife has given me something of far greater value and worth than the total of every, single, thing I have ever owned.