Spiegel Online, one of the online news sites that check several times a day, talked about Cult of Less today (

I didn't bother to read the website, just gave it a quick look, but I read the article. It's about a guy who sold almost all his possessions and lives mainly with his computer and a few sets of clothes to change. And I thought, while this is far from being new or worthy to become a "cult" (that's why I didn't read the website), that I could easily imagine doing that.

Except, I really can't.

I'm a collector. One of these days I will post a picture of my DVD collection and you'll understand what I mean. I collect selectively, but I collect. I like things to be complete. Just like I enjoy making lists about things that I need to do, or that are still missing in my collections, or things that I already have in my collection. I like the collecting because of its completeness, not necessarily because of the things I collect. I mean, intellectually I know that I can never in my whole life watch all the movies I own (again), but I am still unable/unwilling to sell any of them. There's just no need to sell any of them. Why sell this one, if you have way too many anyway? How to decide which ones to sell and which ones to keep?

I'm also a material girl. I own more than 80 shirts (that's button downs or blouses, whatever you call them in english, not t-shirts), and that was the last time I counted. There are probably more now. I have about 20 pairs of jeans. That I wear. Needless to say, I have more that I don't wear. I would totally own 300 pairs of shoes if I had way too much money and the space to store them.

I'm not completely unreasonable about collecting. I sell DVDs that I don't like (duh!), (except if they happen to star an actor that I really like and I know that I'll just end up buying the same bad movie again because of an urgent desire to watch that actor (yes, that has happened. I cannot be the only one)). I go through my closet
regularly, taking out things that I don't wear anymore, and - after letting them sit in a box for a year - give them to goodwill without even looking at them again. Reason tells me that this is what responsible people do. Reason also tells me that I do not need all these things. (but I like them, and nobody forces me not to have them. So there.)

And yet, when I said I could easily imagine selling off all my things, that's completely true. I mean, I could certainly never do it, but I can still imagine it. It's the lure of asceticism, of freeing one's self from worldly possession to find what really matters.

Example 1:
Two years ago, I went on a little road trip in the US. It was part of a two week horse-riding trail, so I had some horse riding stoff, clothes for two weeks, a maglite, an ipod and a diary. I arrived in US, picked up my rental car, started driving and realized: this, everything that was in my trunk right that moment, was everything I
owned on this whole continent. And not only that, it was everything I would need for the next two weeks (although, given my proclivity to travel with too much luggage, it would have lasted a lot longer). Plus, and that was the real beauty of it, I had no schedule, no place to be, no one to tell me where to drive or when to be somewhere for
the next week.

I completely loved it. I wanted to go on forever. I really did not want to start the horse-riding trail, because being at a certain place at a certain time for the pick-up, even though it was still a week away, felt way too constricting. (needless to say, I went on the trail, and it was completely awesome)

Example 2:
This summer's horseriding trail: we went through the mountains for a week and for two days at a time, we carried everything on our horses. Tents, kitchen stuff, sleeping bags, clothes... do you have any idea how absolutely fantastic it feels to be able to pack up all your belongings on your horse in the morning and just go where you want to
go? (or in our case, go where our guide took us, or we would have been forever lost in the french mountains)

So no, I couldn't sell all my belongings. But I do find the feeling of being able to pack up one's things in one suitcase, or preferably in an even smaller bag that fits on a horse, incredibly freeing.

And sometimes, standing in front of my 80 shirts in the morning, finding nothing to wear, I find that owning things actually drives me crazy.

(so next time I'm weird, blame it on my DVD collection)

(just a thought, for a boring Wednesday afternoon)
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