On January 16th, the Brumbaughs visited the Mansion on O Street. This Museum boasts more than 70 hidden doors and a collection of more than 20,000 books and other donated items. The museum was opulent, cluttered, and very, very interesting. Some of the museum was beautiful, I had a lot of fun exploring it, and I admired a few of the items. But three weeks later, all I can remember is a whole lot of junk.
The feeling of being surrounded by junk stuck with me. When I came home, I saw a few valued items cluttered by a bunch of insignificant junk. For the past two weeks, I have been ruthlessly removing things from my life. The things that remain are treasured gifts from family and friends, items I have used in the last year, and mementos. So far, I’ve only made it through my drawers and surfaces, but I already feel like I’m taking my first clear breaths in years. It’s amazing how fast things accumulate and how little I care for most of the objects littering my spaces.
Edit: I just finished going through my clothing. What I used to own could have clothed an army:
My books will be the hardest items to part with, but if the O Street Museum taught me anything, it’s that things I consider junk are things that bring other people joy. While I won’t ever consider my books junk, I am aware that many of them are not bringing value to my life. I hope that by parting with them, I am contributing value to someone else’s. I will mourn my books, but rejoice in the opportunities they represent for others.