Four more items surgically removed from my life.

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Two pairs of old running shoes were donated at a used clothing and shoes collection point. I had these sitting in my office for ages so that I could go for a run at lunchtimes, but it never really panned out. I think I kept them to avoid admitting that I was not living up to my idealized running lifestyle.

A lip balm that I used until the absolute last moment of usefulness was chucked in a bin. I wanted to get my money’s worth out of it, which is a constant source of regret and niggling disappointment in relation to owning and keeping stuff.

Some national geographic magazines were supposed to be recycled but ended up being chucked in with the regular trash (the paper recycling was full and a bossy neighbour was hassling me about leaving them in a box next to the paper recycling). I resisted throwing these out for ages because National Geographics seem to be symbols of the way that I think of myself: interesting, photographic, scientific, clever, sensitive to world issues, etc. Holding onto them was an arrogance, as if I could be all those things by keeping some magazines instead of just being the things that I wanted to be.

A bong went in the glass recycling bin. Some friends gave it to me but I never used it. I thought it might be funny to turn it into something else, but I never got around to doing any thing with it. Holding onto it was a way of trying to be mysterious, or cool, or dangerous, or creative, or whatever. I chucked it out and feel better for it.

Things have been a bit horrible.


I know I haven’t written a blog post in ages, which is a shame because I am a damn good writer and blogging actually helps me sort out the static in my head. But recently life has been giving me nothing but lemons.

Not just giving me lemons either. Hurling them at me at high speed from a moving vehicle whilst insulting me. But as my cousin once told me, “When life gives you lemons, squeeze lemon juice in some bastard’s eye.”

So that is just what I am gonna do. Metaphorically, of course.

I don’t want to go into the details of what is going so horribly wrong, but it is mostly related to my thesis, my job search, my housing situation, the legality of being in the country, and feeling coerced into making big legal decisions by ideologues. To cut a long story short, I will probably be moving to a new country soon, starting a new job of some kind, continuing work on my thesis from afar, and entering a new legal contract that I never thought I would enter.

In preparation, I will be getting rid of one thing per day for the next… oh, let’s say… 35 days. And I am not talking about taking out the trash either. I am talking about clearing out paperwork that I had been avoiding, taking things to the charity shop, throwing out things that I meant to use or do something with but have never got around to. Things that I have some kind of unhealthy emotional attachment to or some kind of psychological aversion to dealing with. Hopefully this will not only reduce the amount of stuff that I have to box up and ship but will also lift a burden off my mind.

To aid the process, I will post pictures, explain what the thing is, why it was hard to get rid of, and what I did with it.

Today, I present you with this fairly ugly and certainly old holiday decoration.

This was a kind of candle-holder/centrepiece/monstrosity. I found it hard to get rid of because my partner is super keen on Xmas, while I am not. We have been building a holiday collection for several years now, some of which was purchased when we were really skint. This was one of those cheap things that we bought ages ago, but I never felt that I could suggest chucking it because I don’t have a good sense of what parts of our collection are really that important to my partner. Honestly, if it were up to me almost all of it would go.

However, the impending move motivated a discussion and this piece got the boot. I put it out by the garbage collection point in the morning and it was gone when I got back. I hope it brightens someone else’s holiday or at least provides some sort of ironic amusement for them.