Undiagnosed Hoarding.

31 Jan

I arrived in Australia with a backpack.  And when I say just a backpack I’m serious, it wasn’t even a very big backpack. Bigger than your average school bag yes, but smaller than the fantastically oversized hot pink Jansport backpack I wore when I was 14.  Yet somehow, through lost and found bins, nightclub dance floors, thrift shops, free piles at hostels/front yards and the occasional looting of vacant apartments within our complex, I have collected a heap of stuff.  Well Charlotte and I combined have collected a heap of stuff.

I am truly amazed as I stand looking around my 12 ft. squared studio apartment.  A couple things came with the place, couch, tv, bed, fridge and a bit we brought with us, backpack, clothes, a couple cd’s, the rest of it… I’m not sure where it came from. 

Somehow a backpack of clothes has exploded to become full wardrobe, a full four drawer dresser, five stuffed shelves and an exploding suitcase.

And that’s just clothes… the combined four pairs of shoes we brought with us to Australia have procreated into 12 pairs.

As for just good ol’ fashion wasteful material possessions that will most certainly end up in the landfill… we have plenty.  We have a stand up mirror, a stereo, a vacuum, a juicer, a lamp, about thirty plates (taken over time from working in restaurants).  We have two fake Christmas trees as well as a duffel bag full of decorations, we have a dvd player and one dvd, we have hundreds of gossip magazines ”borrowed” from the Laundromat.  We have a basketball, a jump rope, three hair straighteners, a blender, a toaster oven, a kerosene lamp, a tea set. We suddenly have hairsprays and lotions and perfumes and facemasks, hair oils and hair dyes

Now you may be dialling the hoarders hotline right but before you do, remember this, we came with backpacks. Just backpacks.  We spent four months  living in a car, two months living in a hotel room, one month in a hostel, one month couch surfing, a couple weeks in Bali and a couple weeks living in a van.  All with just a backpack.  One might think that I would continue on this path of traveling light. However, I think that the past few months of “being settled” in one location with one place for my things has encouraged a sort of accumulation of stuff.  Not important stuff, just general stuff.  And even though I seem to be getting much more than I am getting rid of, it is an oddly gratifying and freeing sensation to know that if necessary, I could grab my backpack, a toothbrush and my passport and be on my way without concern for any of that stuff.


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