Since it is about 30 degrees celsius (85 F) and sunny outside, I figured that today would be a perfect day to stay indoors and make sense of a big, troublesome question: why do I have so much stuff, and where is it all going? There is a lot of my stuff here that I simply love and have missed horribly: framed vintage postcards, beautiful Russian tea sets, pretty old ornaments, vintage fabrics, dozens of old scarves, porcelain plates from the 1950s and hundreds of books. As much as I love my things, there are just so many of them, and they all have some sort of a meaning attached to them. I feel bad for my things being tucked away from life the way they are now. Considering that my life is still split between two continents, I guess it would be natural to feel anxiety over this type of spill-over effect love and life have had on my things and my relationship to them.
I have always loved collecting things. A lot of my memories are linked to the clothes I have worn, the vintage sheets I have slept in, the tea cups I have drank my Sergejeff from. About three years ago I started a major nesting phase, the first one I have ever had after having lived out of a suitcase for about seven years. I needed to feel like I had a home base, and I loved acquiring things to make me feel more rooted. I went to flea markets, got attached to my grandmother's old furniture, and framed and hung pictures of golden-age Hollywood actors and actresses on my walls. I bought a lot of books I had always wanted to own, but hadn't been able to before because of my suitcase lifestyle. When Chris came into the picture, a lot changed: he increased my need to nest expontentially, but at the same time I was required to make some sense out of the nesting I had done so far. All the stuff I had acquired had an attached meaning, but without Chris, all of that meaning would just be a front of a pretty-looking life.
As I am going through my old stuff now, stuff that's packed away in boxes in three different addresses in Finland alone, it is almost as my things are telling me that they feel lonely. I feel bad looking at the evidence of my old life. The objects of my affection still have their meaning, but they don't have a framework, they exist outside of real life. They are scattered around just like my memories are inside my head: important, but secondary from the standpoint of living one's life.
I have no need to purge the things I love. They live in a bit of a limbo for as long as Chris and I are still keeping our options open in regard to our plans for the future. There is a possibility of relocation, and there wouldn't be any point in shipping everything just to have it be shipped again in a year's time. So my things wait. The lucky few make a trip to upstate New York in my suitcase every time I fly, and the rest of them, I hope, feel at least secure in well-sealed cardboard boxes.