Sunday, March 30, 2008

Casting Off Worldly Possessions

My neighbors are moving. I've been helping them sell stuff. What this means is that I have memorized the entire contents of their home, continuously re-arranged said contents numerous times into different locations and groupings that I think will help them sell, and brought various people over to their home (or grabbed them in the hall) and said "Buy stuff!" Sometimes I've even done this when they're not home. Yes I had permission! The day after their first "official" sale, several people knocked on my door to ask questions about items that remained. So I called my neighbors and said "I do have the spare keys to your apartment. Would you like me to show people in when you're not around?" They said "Sure!" and the next night I said "Here's $69 from today!" :) They smiled a lot.

They're selling everything. And I do mean everything. They're moving to Scotland and they're not going to ship all their stuff overseas. It's just not feasible. Nor are they going to pay to store it here since they won't be living here. So it's all going. Large furniture and every little tiny item. Picture frames, every kitchen item, games, books, linens... you name it. All being sold or given away.

When they first told me they were selling everything it took me aback. Their home has so many items that reflect their interests, hobbies and travels. Things I know they love. They told me that they do love those things and that they were a great part of their very happy life here. And now, they will find new homes for those things to make other people happy, and they'll go on to their own new life and get new things for that. I admire them. In theory, I think this makes perfect sense. In practice, I wish I could let go of material things that easily. I get pretty attached to "things."

Many people who have been through their apartment have expressed sadness at seeing everything that's for sale -even though they don't know my neighbors and even though they understand the reason that everything must go. You can't help looking at all the great stuff they have and not be touched by the life that's being "dispersed." But my neighbors are pretty much ok with it. I know there's been a little bit of nostalgic sadness at parting with some of their items, but mostly, because of their great attitude, I think it's been immensely freeing. -Plus, they admit, the money they're getting helps! So does where they're going.

Most people I know move out of necessity; Larger place, lower rent, lease is up, job transfer... My friends are moving by choice and are moving towards something, not away. They're fulfilling an incredible dream. It's so beautiful there, and they're going to have such a wonderful happy new life. I am so envious of and inspired by them.

They're not leaving 100% just yet. On Monday they'll be moving into a temporary sublet for a few months, and then they'll move to Scotland this summer. So they'll still "kind of " be around for a while longer. But by tomorrow, with the exception of about 30 small boxes of clothes, important papers, and some day to day items that they'll need for the next few months at their sublet, all remaining items will be gone. Except for their most prized possession of course. Each of them is still keeping and bringing the one item that's most important to them. The thing that inspires and brings them daily happiness and joy. -Each other.



Vanessa said...

What a beautiful couple! I love the idea of moving towards something rather than away from it.

Mac and Cheese said...

It shows how burden-free life can be without "stuff" weighing you down. Then you can look forward to new stuff!!!

Hillary said...

Good for them! I KNOW I have waaaay too much stuff, and sometimes I wish I could just be rid of it all. Sounds like they have a great attitude!

(Bad me, I haven't been commenting recently! Sorry!)

Alice said...

oh my god.. i couldn't do that. i know it's just "things" and all, but i make a point of bringing back cool stuff from everywhere i travel to. it would be so sad for me to give it up. ack.

Melissa said...

Vanessa: Me too :)
Mac: I agree.
Hillary: They do. And I think you should do "NaCoPoMo" (30 days of commenting! ;) )
Alice: I could do it but it would be difficult. I'd need some kind of major payoff! -Not monetary, but life-wise.