During the past few months I have been getting ready for the rather big lifestyle change ahead of me. As part of the preparations one of the major issues have been deciding what to do with my stuff.
Originally I wanted to clear out stuff that I didn’t need any longer and put the rest in storage. But once this process started, I began thinking about what it really was that I wanted to achieve with this change in my life.
I’ve experienced 30 summers so far in my life. I’ve travel to a lot of interesting places. I’ve lived abroad for almost 4 years. I’ve been married – I’ve been divorced. Had the privilege of being able to study at university (it is free here in Denmark – actually you get paid around 700€ a month by the government to study here!!). Many experiences – some good, some bad, some sad, some happy – all contributing to making me who I am today. And I find it the more I experience the more I realize what really matters to me. What makes me happy is experiences. Relationships with people. Eating great food. Climbing mountains. Doing crazy things.
Material goods are not of great importance for me to be happy. The only few things that I really feel that I need is a laptop, my camera, a photo printer and an internet connection. All the other stuff to me is just luxuries. Oh yeah and a bed and some warm dry clothes might also go on the list of essentials 🙂
Therefore I decided to part way with pretty much most of my belongings, cutting down to only possessing a few boxes that will be stored with friends and family. Furniture, electronics – gone. I sold these. Clothes, various household stuff – gone – donated it to charity. Lots of various crap – gone – I fed the container with this. Left are just a few physical memories (postcards, photographs, etc), my favorite books and nothing much else.
Throughout my whole life I have been conditioned by society that in order to be successful you need to get a good education, have a career, make money, build a home, settle down with a family, and once you retire you can enjoy the good life. I know that things are not really this black and white, but often I get the feeling that this is what my culture and society expects of me. A fair amount of times I have been wondering – what does it mean that I only have a few boxes to my name and a couple of coins on my bank account at the age of 30? But I have to say it is at this point in my life that I feel the most free. I am of good health, I have great people in my life and rather importantly I am full of hopes and dreams. And I am doing what makes me happy.
As the departure date gets closer it is not my things that I think about. It is people – the people that I will miss back home in Denmark. The people that I will meet on the road. Of the experiences to come.
Things are and will always just be things…
“There is something perverse about more than enough. When we have more, it is never enough. It is always somewhere out there, just out of reach. The more we acquire, the more elusive enough becomes.”