The first set of photos of things I don't use but just can't part with - at least not yet. I've been getting rid of things non-stop for the past 6-12 months, and this is what remains. A few items I've tried to sell to no avail, they are marked with red boxes around them.
Today I'm showcasing 2 Boxes: CDs, DVDs, Magazines, Books, Photos, Yearbooks, Paperwork, Decorations/Wall Art, Mementos
Extensively weeded through, I recycled bad pictures, scanned and recycled OK ones, and was left with these. I could scan and recycle these, but I'd like to have something physical to show my hypothetical future child.
Recycled my high school one, since it was huge, I didn't know 85% of the people in it, and it was water damaged.
Binder with Papers
Also extensively weeded through, I'm left with about a quarter of the papers I had a few months ago. I'm keeping some stuff for sentimental reasons, like drawings from elementary school, but this binder also houses medical and financial papers my mom might need should something happen to me.
The binder is from freshman year of high school.
Decorations/Former Wall Art
Miscellaneous Sentimental Stuff
A Better Look - Miscellaneous Sentimental Stuff
For larger pictures, more descriptions, and the "fan" stuff I can't part with, check out my set on flickr: Storage Room
I just sent this as a cover letter for a corporate job at Nintendo:
July 22, 2011
If I am chosen for this position by the end of this month, I will make a Virtual Boy t-shirt and wear it to work every day for the first week. If I am not chosen I will probably still make the t-shirt.
I can see my future and it involves being homeless.
On my way to the Pointe-à-Pitre airport, the sun rose against a lush tropical backdrop as I chatted with Raymond, the driver. Driving seemed so natural to me that morning, something in me changed. After a decade of resistance I've decided that I want to learn how to drive. This is a big deal, to me; I realize that to the average person this decision may seem logical even.
During my last week of class I read an excerpt of "The Stranger" by chance, it was on the side of a worksheet our teacher had given us. And it was beautiful, I had completely forgotten about that story. Now I'm reading it in French, perhaps this is the reason I took up French to begin with.
If I die tomorrow, at the very least I can say I finally tried surfing. While short-lived and not particularly athletic of me (I lay on the board the entire time, it usually takes 10-20 hours of practice before being able to stand up), it was amazing to be completely controlled by the waves, to look behind me and feel fear, but to then let go and trust the water, because there was really no other choice.
On the surface my life has been at a standstill since I got back nearly 2 months ago, but there are internal changes occurring to a degree that I have never experienced before.
I went to Vigo again for 2 and a half weeks, using Claudio's frequent flyer miles to get to Paris and paying the rest of the way. We stayed in his deceased Grandmother's apartment this time around; the place had been uninhabited for a little over a year and it seemed happy to host us.
The weather was nice most of my time there so we went to parks and rivers and a couple of beaches. I also saw a few of my former students, who hugged me and said they missed me and it made me feel loved.
Just the same, I'm glad I left last year, I don't think I can be happy there and I don't want to teach English for the rest of my life, even though it's a nice backup option I suppose. The trip was good, but I'm glad it was just that, a trip.
I spent a day in Barcelona before I left the country. Unfortunately I didn't go zorbing (hey something to do next time) but I caught up with a few friends and re-realized how fascinating that city is.
Now I'm in Guadeloupe taking French classes in the morning, going to the beach in the afternoon (except when it rains), and going to parks/diving sites/wavy beaches/rum distilleries on the weekends with the German and Swiss kids from school. As I don't speak German I generally keep to myself, but it's cool, I love being by myself. I leave next week, I'm ready to get back to work except that OH YEAH I DON'T HAVE A JOB. (Yet.)
For my 5-day trip to Houston I brought only a backpack that fit under my seat on the plane.( Non-clothing items, clock-wise from left (kind of):Collapse )( What I wore on the way to the airport/on the plane:Collapse )( Clothes I packed:Collapse )
I packed light because I'm sick of carrying things around airports and busses and not even using them. For longer trips I would bring more clothes and my laptop, but for a short trip like this one I decided against having them weigh me down when other options were available.
It was so nice breezing through security without taking out liquids or my laptop, not having to pay or wait in line to check in a bag, and boarding the plane without the hassle of looking for room in those overhead bins.
Actually, on my way back I was given the option of checking in my bag at the gate because the flight was full, and I jumped on it. I knew I wasn't going to be in a rush, so waiting for my duffel bag in baggage claim was fine, and it was better than hauling it on the plane and through most of the airport with me. I did risk getting my stuff damaged or lost, but it was packed well so I didn't think it would break, and if the stuff got lost I knew I would get reimbursed.
I've been trying to make good use of my unemployed time. The first few days after I got fired the weather was gorgeous, so I went for a walk to a nearby lake I had always wanted to check out but never got around to doing:
It was beautiful, and it only took 40 minutes to walk there! A lot of times we feel compelled to go to distant, exotic destinations to "get away," but we often take what we have nearby for granted.
I've also been clearing out stuff I've got stored in my mom's storage room:
You can't tell so much in the pictures, but I think I've made considerable progress, around 2 medium sized boxes less than before. I scanned a bunch of photos and papers and recycled them (also recycling a lot that I didn't scan), put some TV recordings from VHS tapes onto DVDs, and donated a few things.
And now I'm in Houston visiting friends and family. I hadn't been here in a little over a year, and I'm glad I came, but also glad that I waited so long to come back. Little by little I'm realizing that we're all going our own separate ways, and I'm learning to accept that and be happy for all of us. Ideally I'd love to keep in touch with everyone I love forever, but if it doesn't happen I can't be upset about it. (Perhaps the fact that I've made new friends in Seattle has helped spur these feelings.)
I love what getting rid of stuff and listening to my instinct is doing to me; I feel lighter and happier, and like I'm going in the right direction.
I got fired on Monday. I was surprisingly very happy about it, I had been dealing with all sorts of bullshit as of late and it got to a point where I was dreading coming to work, yet I wasn't about to quit until my lease was up in June.
I feel so FREE now, it's an incredible feeling. The weather has been beautiful and I actually get to enjoy it instead of being cooped up in a building during daylight hours. In a way it's bittersweet, because I felt as though my work at Nintendo was far from done, and this certainly isn't the way I wanted to go out, but some things just aren't in my control and I have to trust that everything will work out for the best.
I'm grateful for the opportunity to have worked there, however short. I met a lot of cool people, learned so much about how video games are produced, and saved up enough money to keep me going until the next job. Right now my rough plan is to travel and come back in December to collect unemployment while I look for a job, but this is all subject to change of course.
I've given myself a nice challenge where I spend as little money as possible for the rest of my unemployed time here (26 days, at most.) This will force me to cook/bake more and to use up most of my food in the pantry so that I'll have less to haul to my mom's when I move out.( 22 Things To DoCollapse )(Actually, I have the urge to live alone in a cottage on a mountain with nothing but a piano, but that would be impractical, wouldn't it?)
I'm in Seattle now, for an undetermined amount of time, probably a year. Leaving Vigo was the best decision I could have made, I'm beginning to doubt I'll ever go back. It's strange how I left one cold, overcast city for another (or rather, how I get pulled to them.) But weather aside, this city feels like a good fit for me.
I had a canvassing job for a few days, but I sucked so bad at it. I met some really cool people I'll never see again, though. This morning I got a call from Nintendo and I got the job I was hoping for! If all goes well I'll be playing video games for a living, AND actually using my major in Portuguese, which I of course assumed would never happen.
Lately I've been visiting a couple of blogs on minimalism, Castles in the Air
and Miss Minimalist
. They've both been really inspiring as I weed through the stuff I have in my mom's storage room, as well as the things I've been lugging around the world with me for the past few years. I don't know why I find it so hard to part with certain items, but I am making progress, however slow. I'm keeping my old video games and a box of toys/books to pass on to my future child (if and when), but I need to be a little more discerning with everything else.( 22 Things To DoCollapse )
I've been down lately, barely understanding this language is really frustrating. I don't think anyone can know what I'm going through unless they've been through the same thing.
Jeremie and Odile had this big party on Friday. I had been up since 5am that morning so I had originally planned to take a nap before going out to say hi to people, but I wound up just falling asleep until the next morning. And I was also really intimidated by a huge group of couples, speaking a language I don't know, eating barbecue.
They stayed the entire weekend, too! They pitched up tents around the farm and everything. When I finally talked to them a bit they seemed nice enough, but I don't know, I still feel like a burden, it sucks.
I'm also depressed about this whole Claudio situation, and the fact that I don't know what I'm doing with my life, yadda yadda. Since I got here he's become "mon copain," this ambiguous term that means both boyfriend and friend (haha gotta hand it to the French..)
I've become really close to the pet dog Benex (sp?). Animals can't talk so I generally don't feel frustrated around them, and I'm like the only one who plays catch with him. They tied him up all weekend because he hates little kids and there was a baby around; last night he slept right outside my tent and it made me feel a little loved :)
I wish I could say this chart is an oversimplification, that every trip is different, but it's held true every time...