I had spent most of that afternoon in my basement. The cobwebs and dust had settled on the boxes strewn In every corner of its expanse, and in some ways had already began to settle in my head and I determined, reluctantly, to succeed at my task. This was my life. Boxes now. Memories and boxes. I pawed through them looking at what I could get rid of. Most of them were books. Can’t get rid of books. Well maybe this one. I can’t miss a story I never read. I pondered looking at the cover of the thing. One of those leather covers. Or rather a faux one. I tossed it in my box of items to get rid of. From one box to another. How exciting.
Several hours passed, and I had only managed to get through five boxes. It seemed like so little, but I hadn’t foreseen looking through the pieces of my college life inside and having it be hard to let some of those pieces of my life go. I gave up only a handful of items by the time I had gotten through the last box for the night. Only one item per box. Pathetic. Let it go Em. Just let it go. I couldn’t of course. I couldn’t let anything go. Those things I could get rid of were few and useless. The rest of the boxes would contain more books, tons of dishes and silverware, design stuff for my portfolio, and perhaps a few treasures. Things beautiful and useful. What would William Morris say if I gave those up? He’d be pissed. Incase you didn’t know.
When I emerged from my basement the house was dark and empty. My parents were in bed already. I quietly went into my room. Shutting the door I exhaled. Breathing heavily as tears came to my eyes. My life. Everything I owned was being kept in boxes. Even I was. Living a 12×12 bedroom filled to the brim with things I desired to keep, because they were useful and beautiful. At twenty-three-years-old I was living in a box built by society, while also living out of boxes. Was this what life was? Just a pile of boxes that you could pick up and move with you, maybe never even open again. It felt tragic and sad somehow. Shallow even. To have so much stuff and not be able to use it. To not need it. To not be needed. To be kept in a box without air holes. It was suffocating me. Perhaps one day it will kill me. Then I’d be put into another box and covered up. Like a time capsule, never to be opened again.
It’s odd. Considering the amount of time people have invested in packing and unpacking boxes. How much time people take categorizing people to fit in metaphorical boxes. How much energy we put into living, only to one day end up in a box in the ground. Forgive me, that’s sounds awfully fatalistic, but in a way it reminds you how short life is, how precious it is, and how too often we spend it stuffing those precious moments, people, and treasures into boxes as if they were a disgrace to be hidden or too precious to display. But why? Why do we hide away those things? What are we so afraid of? People taking them? One day, when we’re gone, people will take it anyway. So what is the use if it is only stuff?
I haven’t gone back down stairs to try again. It feels kind of painful to do so, because I have oddly and strangely attached myself to those things in those boxes, not because I want to keep them, but because I feel like I can relate to those boxed items. Post graduation has been difficult for me. I live at home. I work short hour in retail because it’s what I could find. I freelance design on the side, but not enough to pay any bills. I come home. Go to my room. Close the door. Only to be shut up in this room with my stuff. A self fulfilling prophecy. A life in a box.
I promised myself I wouldn’t complain on this blog. I have decided this post isn’t a complaint so much as a painful truth. An experience. A struggle.