Lately I’ve been watching American Pickers, a show about these two guys who look at junk buried deep inside barns, basements and garages. They search for the most unique items to sell at their shop in Iowa. Being a history buff I enjoy learning about the stuff these guys uncover, usually tucked away underneath a rusted out engine or behind rolls of old carpet.
While watching the show one day, I thought it would be cool to have a huge collection of stuff. I’d have a house on a few acres of land and a big old pole barn. To get to the pole barn I’d have to ride on a golf cart, but that’s fine because I have always wanted a golf cart.
My house would have my most prized possessions, but the barn would be an emporium of anything and everything. Old cars. Toys. Tin signs. Bicycles. Guns. Radios. Name something and my barn will be sure to have it.
I’m a neat person so my barn would never qualify me as a hoarder, but that’s the thing, I’m a neat person. I’m relatively organized. I have separate drawers for my boxers and socks. Hanging in my closet are jackets, then dress shirts, then sweaters and finally pants. Everything has a place.
My roommate told me I could never be a collector because I’m too neat. I think he might be right. This weekend I was determined to clean out my childhood bedroom. After a few hours, I had enough trash for three black garbage bags. Old folders, batteries, remotes for televisions I no longer own, computer game boxes without the discs, VHS tapes, etc. And damn it felt good.
It is was like shedding the baggage of my past. I turned into a man. Actually, no I didn’t. But I felt older and I did shave later that day. Not because I grew a whole bunch of facial hair while cleaning my room but because I hadn’t shaved for a week. I was looking real shaggy.
Thing is, I was able to separate myself from the things I thought I could never part with. I took a step toward maturity and about time, I’m twenty-two you know. Why do I need a rock from the Grand Canyon? Why do I have four broken watches, all from the 80’s? I simply do not need a jock strap, nor do I need flex-fit baseball caps. I hate flex-fits anyway.
Some things, however, I felt obligated to keep. Like my furniture and bed. Obviously. Stuffed animals from childhood (for my mom’s sake), my football card collection, books and family pictures too. I also made sure to keep the probation letter I received from the National Junior Honor Society moderator informing me I must improve my math grade or further action will be taken.
Finding one’s way into adulthood, I figure, is different for everyone. Throwing stuff away from when I was younger is one way I’ve begun making the transition. I don’t need things to serve as reminders of my time in elementary school or middle school because I am the same person and my memory of those times hasn’t begun to fade yet. Sure, I’m a bit older with more hair on my face and less on my head, but pretty much the same person nonetheless.
I still hate Sundays and I still like tacos. My relationship with school is still very much love/hate and people still think it’s funny my full name is Maxwell. I still scheme wildly, expect these have evolved. Instead of trying to acquire every Barry Sanders football card, I now hope to acquire a pole barn and fill it with stuff. Eventually though, these schemes will probably become more practical as I continue my way into adulthood. Like making a real effort in trying to learn to cook or finding a job.