The Great Purge

For all you bloggers who read my blog (the very few of you), you would be shocked to know that I purged my books. I am a reader and a writer (of sorts) and I’m moving across the large Canadian countryside to beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. Which poses a problem. I have a lot of books that I’ve bought over the course of my 8.5 years in University. Some are required textbooks, but a lot of them were the classics. The Austen, Bronte, Tolkien, Bradbury, King, Camus, Freud, Aristotle, Plato, Homer books that have long given me insight and comfort have been whittled down from 2 3-tier book shelves, into 2 shelves, with some space. I cannot afford to ship so many books over several thousand kilometers. So I sucked in my breath, and dived in, making sure that I kept only the books that I have, and will definitely reread. It was a 3-step process. First, putting the books in 4 legal-size boxes, hidden out of sight. Then, for 2 weeks, I hid the books from sight, getting comfortable with the idea that they were no longer going to be around. Finally, I gave away some to people who would read them, I sold what I could at a garage sale, and donated the rest to the public library. It was strangely liberating. It was by far the most difficult thing I had to do, including parting with the barbies of my childhood. But as I sold or gave away certain prized possessions, that I once thought I could never part with, it was strangely easier as I knew that they would be used, that their purpose would be served. Stuffed animals went to little kids, dolls went to children in Third World Countries, and books went to people who treasure the knowledge that will come out of them. While its been tough letting go of ideas that I had for myself, (I’ve always wanted a room wall-to-wall covered in books) its been so rewarding to have been liberated the weight on my shoulders of more stuff than I really need or use. I’m sure there’s more I will need to shed from my life as I cross the country, but I’m not afraid of the process any more. Which is awesome. You can draw any number of faith-based and non-faith-based conclusions from my latest story. But to start, I will leave you with these inspiring words from Joshua:

Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous.

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