It’s just Stuff

by James & Miel on September 1, 2008 · 0 comments

There is a point in most people’s lives when we realize that this is our life. There is no waiting for life to begin.

This conversation came up the other day with other transient expats who are well into their thirties, and beyond, and still aren’t established in the customary ways of houses, furniture, spouses, kids, etc.

I guess there are two main things that this conversation made me consider:

1) You are more than just your stuff. While having worldly goods can be nice, don’t let them dictate your life. It’s just stuff after all.

2) Just because you don’t have roots doesn’t mean that your life hasn’t begun yet. Life where you are and don’t worry about the customary stuff that life is made of. Stuff can come and go, but to quote the Beatles, life is what happens when you’re busy doing other things.

James & I have been together in DC for nearly five years now. While we have our own place, our belongings are still rather transient. After pricing things on my move out to DC, we determined that we’d be much better off to furnish our place with more temporary goods and sell it all when we eventually leave DC. Thus, if we moved from DC now, we’d be selling about 90% of what we currently own.

This has been very liberating in some ways, not to be tied to stuff in how to get it from here to there. There also comes a point when you realize that eventually we’ll actually have to start to accumulate real stuff and move past Target and Craiglist home furnishings.

Right now I have a large, as in 2,000 pounds, shipping allowance when I leave Kabul. Considering that we couldn’t possibly fit 2,000 lbs of stuff in our condo, I question how much of this I should use. I think in the end it will likely be a couple of Afghan carpets and perhaps some Nooristani furniture.

Even with a huge shipping allowance I still get hung up on not wanting too much stuff in my life, so we’ll see what I actually end up buying.



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