“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add,
but when there is nothing left to take away.”
Antoine de Saint-Expudery, quoted in the Tacoma, Washington News Tribune
Over ten years ago, I decided to quit my job as a research assistant at a small economic consulting firm in Texas and become a teacher in Uzbekistan. For my first year there, I was allowed two 50 lb suitcases and one carry-on. The rest of the stuff I either lent to friends or put into storage.
When I arrived, only one of my two suitcases arrived with me. Unfortunately, the airline I was traveled on was not known for its customer service, and claimed that if anything, my suitcase could have only weighed 8 kg, or less than 20 lbs (they reimbursed losses based upon the weight of the luggage). Even then, I never got my money back.
But one thing I did get was a realization that sometimes in order to move forward in life, we don’t a catalog, but a trash bag. I survived just fine with that one suitcase of items along with the things that were available, and when I returned two years later to the US, some of my friends or family would drag out boxes of things I had left with them that they didn’t want anymore, and honestly, half of the time I didn’t even remember possessing those items. I didn’t want them either, so I got rid of them too.
What about you? Do you have an easy or hard time getting rid of things?