Debra Swersky
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Journal

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My Stuff (Continued)

 

It was an emotional week. All of our belongings were delivered on Saturday. By Sunday the essentials were unpacked and out of boxes. And by Monday I was left to answer the question, "What do I do with the ballet slippers?" In my previous post a couple of weeks ago on "my stuff," I recalled the ballet slippers that my friend in Spain signed for me as an item that I wanted from my boxes in storage but couldn't immediately access. I rationalized wanting to display them as to my reason for wanting to access them.

So, now that I had them in my possession for one full week the question is: What happened with the ballet slippers?

After a week of pouring through my life's history - box after box of memories - I ended up recycling a whole lot of paper and curating the story of my life. I went through baby pictures and pictures from my sixth grade, high school, and college graduations, scanned important notes from friends and newspaper clippings in which I was named, and organized everything into considerably fewer boxes than I started with. But then, amidst the papers, file folders, binders, and books were the ballet slippers. As soon as I held the slippers in my hands I knew that the time had come to answer the question, "What do I do with the ballet slippers?" Do I display them, throw them out, or forget about them somewhere in a box? 

It was a difficult decision, but I decided not to display them (contrary to my prior post). I strongly considered finding a worthwhile spot for them in my new office... but I didn't. The shoes, as wonderful as a memory my trip to Spain was, don't trigger strong enough emotions for me to remember my time spent there on a regular basis. 

As a self-proclaimed minimalist, this past week I found myself in an interesting predicament. If I wasn't going to display the ballet slippers that I loved so much from my friend in Spain (which brings to mind Spanish, the Arts, Spain, Travel, etc.) and I was going to put them back into a box to remember when reminiscing about all of the cool stuff that I did in High School... then what was I going to display? Great question. 

For my fancy schmancy new desk I selected a glass fortune cookie that my mom bought for me in Vail, a wooden horse that reminds me of the endless afternoons of creative happenings at my grandmothers house in South Africa (which sits atop her vintage tin that says "Simplicity"), a flower made out of Coca-Cola cans and four books: Zen Pencils (a graduation gift from my cousin), The Art of Business Note Writing (an oldie but a goodie), Pause, and Desiderata (both given to me by my mentor). Because I have no other professional "home base" I also decided to display the one staple item that has traveled with me from each of the desks that I have occupied: a picture of the love of my life framed in orange. 

Each one of these items invokes a feeling of encouragement, a confirmation that I am supported and loved, and a reminder to challenge myself and my thinking and that of those around me. 

As for the rest of the apartment, it's certainly Cloud 9.1 - thoughtfully organized and optimized for efficiency.

Debra Swersky