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All content copyright 2010 by Chelsea Biondolillo. Seriously.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

365 days of being a writer: day 82

I spent a few hours at the library today, then another hour or so at a bookstore. I have been selling books. I started with three bulging bags, sold two, and bought up one bag worth back in trade. It was supposed to be a reduction by half. But it's books! And I got really great books in trade. Books about writing.

There was way too much junk in this house when I moved in. Every corner cram packed with stuff. Every space filled with stacked boxes full of things. It's suffocating. What good are books if I can't reach them on the shelf because there's a pile of stuff precariously balanced in front of them? Or a pair of shoes I don't even know I have... I've been stacking up a lot of things that used to be important to me when I had a house. I had a set of dishes for just for parties and a regular place setting for eight. I had four power strips and five rooms worth of knick knacks. I had been dragging around paraphenalia from 20 years ago. It's not like I don't need stuff. I love stuff. I especially love books and small intricate things to look at, like Limoges-style boxes and Buddha statues.

But not everything is important to me knowing that I will likely never live in a house again. I would rather be more portable, not less. A friend has an apartment that she would let me sublet in NYC for less than a song, and I am too stuck here, in a million different ways, to take advantage of the offer. The next time a chance like that appears, I want to be able to take it. I'm not the type who will ever be able to live out of a car, but it doesn't have to take 5 movers, either.

There's this other part to the de-cluttering, too. Every time I have moved, I bring this mountain of things, and I drape every surface of my new place in everything that was in the old place--sometimes I even bring the same dust. And then I wonder why I eventually repeat the same patterns...? There's definitely something to this.

I don't want to get rid of everything I own, but I do want to get rid of stuff that remind me of people/times/situations where I gave control or power away. Tokens of failed friendships and relationships, souvenirs of terrible times, who would keep these things? No one, so I tell myself I have this stuff for some other reason, or even no reason, just a meaningless "I like it."

The bottom line, I think, is that if I want to really be a braver, better person, I have to let go of the things that remind me that it's OK to fail. It's like keeping your fat pants, or the phone number of that ex. If going backwards actually felt good, it would be one thing, but it never does. You wouldn't have moved forward in the first place if it did, right? Now, I'm getting all self-helpy / psychoanalysissy. I didn't mean to do that at all.

Look, I just sold some old books and bought some new ones, she said, refreshingly.


The 666Photography piece is finally up, there's a link to it in the sidebar. I also found out this morning that the piece I wrote last week after a rush of inspiration, and then submitted in the same, is going to be posted on one of my favorite websites, The Rumpus. It should be up next week, I will link when it is.

Research today was mostly about gathering sources, reading up on styles and formats FOR research papers and freaking out about whether this paper is even right for the UW application packet. As part of my new book stack, I got a book on writing about literature. If the director at KSU thinks I can apply with my current transcript, I want to submit an actual literary criticism.

I also got two more books for my Spanish studies: a first year text and a workbook with word puzzles and games. My podcasts and iPhone app and "beginning Spanish" workbook should get me half way through level one understanding, and then I will use the new texts and my Berlitz package to get me the rest of the way there. Hopefully, I can get into Spanish 2 by late Spring semester. ..

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