Letting go


When I started planning this trip, I knew that I wanted to get rid of the things that I had accumulated over the years, to get a sort of fresh start. I think it a truism to say that sometimes our things own us as much as we own them.

That said, I am now getting to a difficult point. Originally, I just wanted to get rid of my capital ‘S’ Stuff. The furniture, theĀ  computers, the gadgets, the clothes, etc. And most of that has been disposed of already. Now I am trying to decide what memories, useful or other, to keep. For example, I came across my old art and architecture portfolio. In it are projects and drawings from at least 2 careers ago. I haven’t used this book in a meaningful way in over 14 years…and yet, should I get rid of it? What am I holding onto here?

I have been saying since the beginning of the year while planning this adventure that I would retain a small box of journals, letters and photos to leave at my family’s house. After that, I would only have the items that I was carrying with me in my small backpack (clothes, toiletries, camera, travel stuff). But now, as I decide to discard the evidence of my history, what matters and what does not? Do I worry that by getting rid of things such as the portfolio, that I am erasing myself from the world, and from leaving a mark? Is it just egocentric to think this way? What matters and what does not?