I realized something about myself this past week. I’m still a TCK. I spent most of the week going through and sorting my ex-husband’s stuff. And he had a lot of stuff. He never threw anything away and he was a shopper. So he accumulated a lot of stuff. The whole experience was one huge anxiety attack for me. How could anybody have so much stuff? I spend most of my time trying to get rid of stuff. I weed out my closet on a regular basis. I don’t want to be tied down to a bunch of “things”.
Granted he did have some kinda cool stuff.
As my son started going through it, he wanted to keep a lot of things. That is understandable. I get that. I know I get sentimental about things and he should have anything he wants to keep. However, as his pile grew, so did my anxiety.
“Are you sure you want that?”
“Is that something you really need?”
“I don’t think you need to keep that!”
I had to walk away several times. I had to force my mouth shut.
During the same week, I decided it was time to get rid of the bed I have had forever. Well, my mattress and box spring. I don’t actually have a real bed or a headboard. I have a metal frame. I have thought about buying a bed on several occasions. I think a sleigh bed would be nice. A beautiful big piece of furniture. But when it comes down to the wire, I can’t do it. I think about being tied down to a big piece of heavy furniture.
“What if I want to move?”
“What will I do with that big thing?”
“It doesn’t fit in my backpack.”
“I don’t need more stuff.”
Yes, I know this is totally irrational and crazy but there you have it.
Confessions of a Third Culture Kid.
On another note…. I now have a blog at the Baltimore Post Examiner:
My posts will be featured every Tuesday. Check it out!
Expats invented Minimalism, down-sizing and freedom from clutter! Think of all the money we DON’T waste 🙂 Still… once in a while would be nice.
Yes. It used to be everything I owned could fit in my car. I’ve gone a bit beyond that but still like to keep it reasonable.
Congrats on the blog at the newspaper! Well deserved.
Congratulations! I don’t know you, but I feel connected already……the thought of being tied down, etc…..the TCK world.
Welcome, and thanks for stopping by!
Congratulations on your column… Interesting your struggle with stuff – Because my stepmother threw away all my books and things every time we moved ( army family and without asking me!) I can’t bear to part with my books, and so I travel heavy!
And have moved seventeen times in forty years!
Funny, my mom did the same but it had the opposite effect. I learned to not get attached to things….
yes… our interpretations are so different, but not having any connection with my parents ( my father came back from war when I was ten, having gone when I was a year old, plus stepmother,) books were my refuge,my home and my only safe place….
Totally makes sense
I know that feeling well. My husband collects anything & everything because “it might come in useful”. I live in a permanent state of tension as I try to keep things minimal, ready for the day I move house again.
Make him do the packing next time! 🙂
It took years for me to ‘unpack’ and except that I was home (in Norway). Just breathe. You are home! Its perfectly okay to ‘unpack’ and put down roots.
Great news about the blog… The Baltimore Post Examiner is lucky to have you!
Ahh but that is the problem… the eternal question…. where is home? 🙂 But I have unpacked, just don’t want more stuff to be responsible for…
I just found your blog. Great essays! I’m a global nomad/TCK myself. Now I know why clutter bothers me more than my wife ;). Nice to meet you and congratulations on your newspaper blog. I very much appreciate reading TCK essays as it helps me understand myself better. I’ll be waiting for you next entry
Thanks for stopping by. Always nice to meet a fellow traveler!
My spouse is the TCK and yet is also a collector, so it doesn’t necessarily follow. I guess there’s an exception to prove every rule. I’m usually the one throwing things out. 🙂
Sure, lots of tcks settle down and grow roots and are happy with it. I bet you are the one who packs when you move, tho,,,