A flash of insight

As I was diligently unravelling and folding the ridiculous surplus of packaging material that surrounded our nappy bucket that arrived this morning, I had a moment of self-realisation.

I am a hoarder of potential.

I mean, it’s obvious, really. But the epiphany was articulated with a kind of clarity that hasn’t been available to me before.

See, I don’t like stuff, I don’t like clutter, I don’t like consumerism, and all that makes me feel blocked and irritated when I’m surrounded with it. But, equally, I’ve always had this habit of holding onto certain kinds of things. Always had the desire to collect certain kinds of things. And it’s always felt at odds with the assertion that I don’t want more items in my life. And it’s left me conflicted and weakened in my conviction. And it’s stopped me from feeling truly aligned with myself.

Because when I see a pile of blank notebooks, or a stash of fabric, or indeed a stack of neatly folded packing paper, I don’t feel blocked and irritated. I feel lifted, excited, and just a little bit nervous. When I see a blank canvas my soul goes ‘mmmmmmmmm’.

So the whole ‘have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful’ thing has, all these years, been telling me to store all the fabrics and the paper and the yarns and threads and paint because, as well as knowing they could become so many different wonderful things, more importantly, more viscerally, I look at them and find them spellbindingly beautiful.

Put me in a room with nothing but raw materials and I will enter a state of bliss. I’ve had this happen countless times in my life and never really figured out what was going on. Never quite got to the core of my reasoning. Which seems pretty stupid now.

This love of potential has had major ramifications in my life. Far beyond the scope of what I squirrel away in the under-stairs cupboard, this has impacted what I feel able to create, the relationships I get involved in, and pretty much every major life decision I’ve taken. It’s a strength and a weakness but, I fear, having been so unaware of it, I have mainly employed it as a weakness.

I’m looking forward to flipping that around. So thank you, Amazon, for your obscenely wasteful packing methods.

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