A couple of years ago I took a quick road trip home for the weekend and as I drive that familiar strip of highway I like to get caught up on my This American Life podcast it keeps me company and is usually a good idea. Here is the problem though ~This American Life has a way of staying with you and on this particular drive I listened to the episode called Home Alone and it has stayed with me ever since.
The exact story from Home Alone is Act I. Plot Without A Story that was too much for me. It is the story of the unclaimed dead of L.A. County. It is heart breaking to hear about these people who die not only alone but that no one notices that they are gone so they become the unclaimed dead. L.A. County has about 3000 people a year who end up this way. The county investigates who the next of kin is and they say the thing that come up time and time again when they go to the homes of these people is the amount of stuff they own. They will have so many things in thier home you can't tell where there is furniture or find anything more than a small path from the door to the place where they like to hang out in the house. They fill their lives with things because they don't have people in their lives. Most of these cases go unsolved the individuals are cremated and buried in a group plot designated by the year they died. I cried when I heard this for the first time and freaked out so badly that my father had to convice me that this would not be my fate that I had family and there is no way this would be me, I would be taken care of.
I moved this last weekend and everything I own is in boxes spread around my new apartment I am surrounded by things and am living there all alone. I am debilitated by fear ~I am so depressed. I have cried more this weekend than I care to admit to. I can't even face the idea of unpacking which oddly enough is the one thing I know would fix the problem.
So this week I will remind myself I am not alone I have family and friends I am okay. I have plans almost every night this week to hang out with people, I am busy, I am loved and I am looked after. Also if I die someone will take care of me and most likely begrudging would go through my things and take care of them too. So starting tonight I will unpack my things and purge as much as possible but I will not let it take away from time spent with people because even though I have way too much stuff I have just the right amount of friends and family in my life.