This is day 21 of a 30 day New Year’s Resolution.
I’m going to contradict myself, here.
Yesterday, I made a case for curation as part of growth: throw it out, so you can become the person you want to be.
But the Hegelian in me needs to offer the antithesis of this idea.
Let me tell you a story…
I’m in Philadelphia at a teacher’s conference. Yes, I’m a teacher. We’ve already gone over this.
I was fortunate enough to participate in a film-making session. We learned how to storyboard, we made up an absurd story, and we got to filming.
It involved forming a make-believe Zamboni out of chairs.
It also involved filming the same sequence over and over, flicking the lights on and off, dropping a broom. Over and over. When I asked why we couldn’t move on, the most camera-savvy member of the team explained: you never know if the first shot will work. Always film more than you need.
This was not a good thing for a notorious clothing hoarder to hear: the same principle could be applied to my closet, and it’s the rationale I use for keeping shoes I haven’t worn in a year. Or a sweater in a color I can’t find a use for.
What if I want to put a look together, and I need those black Chuck Taylors – with the rubber strip peeling off.
What if I finally find the mustard colored tie to wear with the periwinkle sweater?
What if I suddenly decide that there is such a thing as a selfish phase, in life?
If I get rid of these things, I’ll be left without the option.
I puzzled over this until I ran it by a friend – and it seems that the Hegelian Dialectic – Thesis/Antithesis/Synthesis is not yet complete.
Thesis: Throw is out so you can grow.
Antithesis: Keep it – you might need it.
Synthesis: Throw out things that are harming you. Make space for the rest.
My shoes? I’ve worn them to the beach enough times to know that they’re real useful, they dry fast, and they don’t take up space.
The sweater? I’ll give it another year. Maybe I’ll find the mustard-colored tie of my dreams to match the periwinkle.
My selfish phase? The concept doesn’t fit, it’s wrinkled, it’s stained, and it’s super out dated.
Throw it out.