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Does This Still Serve Me?

I grew up with a lot of things. My father was in the military, so we moved often which meant that the only constant in my life was what was in my room. The books, toys, posters, decorations and what not seem to define me, no matter where I lived. And so, I cherished these things.

I do not remember once having a yard sale or ever dropping things off at Goodwill, that’s just not how my family operated. If something wasn’t being used, it found its way into the attic or in a drawer somewhere, where it remained.

It wasn’t until I moved to North Carolina in my early 20’s, that I had time to look through all that I had accumulated over the years. I was drowning in things. Old, busted R/C car… had it. Thousands of baseball cards.. had it. Massive bins of wrestling magazines… had it. Nothing was ever discarded from my youth and these things went from being cherished items to anchors. Things that prevented me from moving around and even having space. They went from bringing me joy to making miserable almost overnight.

And so, the purging began. I had to take it slow, but it didn’t take long for me to see how liberating it was. And ever since that fateful afternoon almost twenty years ago, I’ve been keeping a constant vigil on the things I own and their place in my life.


With moving on the horizon again for me, I’ve found myself sorting through my closet, bins, and movies asking myself the same three questions I’ve been asking myself for years:

  • Is this who I used to be?
  • Is this who I want to be?
  • Is this who I am?

I feel like I buy things for one of these three reasons and when you lean into the first two, you can accumulate a lot of junk that doesn’t serve you. It takes up space for the things that you would be better off with. It’s hard to start a new hobby when you have a closet full of dusty sports equipment. It’s hard to start collecting retro games when your shelves are full of action figures.

Over the next two months, I will be packing and purging and everything I touch will be analyzed. I’m going to begin asking myself, does this help me lead a more peaceful life? If the answer is no, then I will discard of it too.

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