Now that I’m getting ready to move (again!), I’ve been getting rid of tons of stuff. Last time my focus was on clothes, and I managed to donate several giant garbage bags to Housing Works. This time it’s papers, books, CDs, and DVDs.
Over the weekend I was a shredding machine, obliterating piles of junk mail, old receipts, and files. This has been really freeing. Why for years had I been keeping my ATM receipts and keeping track of them in my checkbook? Even with the advent of online checking, I still kept doing this, and then would try to match my checkbook balance to my balance online. Why??? Last month my balance was so off, I finally decided, Fuck it, and no longer collect those receipts in my wallet like some kind of bag lady collecting newpapers to keep her warm at night.
But what’s been most freeing is selling my DVDs. I started collecting box sets of my favorite TV shows – namely, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Gilmore Girls – around the time of my divorce. I didn’t care that reruns for both shows were on all the time. I wanted to be able to watch them whenever I wanted, and to just know that they were there, sitting on my shelf, like a good friend who lives in your town but whom you don’t see very often.
When I moved into in the city, I didn’t have cable right away. So how did I occupy myself every night when I came home to an empty apartment? Watched all my Buffy and Gilmore Girls videos. That was back in 2005, and I probably haven’t watched them again since. But I kept them on my shelf, collecting dust, and didn’t get rid of them when I gave up my place and moved in with MB. We didn’t have much room so I brought them to my office and kept them in a file cabinet. When I changed jobs and offices, I dragged them with me.
Now I’ve sold them off on Amazon. If I made the effort, I could have brought them to San Francisco, or stored them at my parents’ house, but I just don’t need them anymore. It’s not only that I’ve watched all the episodes so many times, I have them memorized, but I feel like they’re from another part of my life, a part that’s behind me. I don’t need Lorelai to comfort me anymore through junk food and witty quips, or Rory to help me feel okay for being nerdy. Buffy no longer has to protect from demons (real or in my head), and I don’t have to gather strength from evil Willow to be a bad ass.
I don’t think it’s as simple as, Now I’m with MB, I don’t need the security of my fave shows anymore. I was probably ready to part with them sooner, the further I moved away from my divorce, the more I remembered who I was outside of a relationship, outside of helping and worrying about other people all the time. I’d like to think by the time I met MB, I had grown (am still growing) and was ready for a relationship.
But not only am I leaving behind some DVDs, I’m leaving an entire city, the city where I met the Ex, got married, got cheated on, and got divorced. Where I started dating again. Now that I’ve resolved that I’m okay with that – not just okay, that I’m excited about it – shucking some TV shows is a piece of cake.
But I’ll still totally watch the reruns on Hulu.