Sunday, May 14, 2006


My favorite reality show is The Amazing Race. Teams of two follow clues and participate in activities as they travel all around the world. It really is amazing. Anyway, this season, my favorite duo is BJ and Tyler. They are two late 20-something guys who have long hair, beards, and carefree attitudes. Everyone else on the race has nicknamed them "the hippies." I love the way they make friends with everyone they meet, try as hard as they can to always use the local language of the country they're in, and keep genuinely great attitudes throughout everything. Twice now they have come in last place, but shockingly both times were non-elimination rounds. That meant they could continue racing with the condition that they had to give up all of their money and possessions. Also, they would receive no money at the start of the next leg of the race. They had such refreshing responses to losing their stuff. One of them said, "We're looking forward to racing this way, with nothing to hold us back." The other said, "I've always said I'd like to travel the world with nothing but the clothes on my back. Now I get to do it and it's great!" Keep in mind, one of they guys had just finished a swimming challenge and raced to the pit stop without pants and shoes, meaning that he would have to continue racing that same way... But, because they've been so friendly, one of the other teams lent him an extra pair of pants and another team donated a pair of sandals. That day, they went from last place to first place and they're now one of three teams competing for a million dollars! (As a side note, the team that left nothing for them was eliminated. heehee.)

Why do I mention BJ and Tyler from The Amazing Race? Because I don't know if my attitude about losing all my stuff would be the same as theirs was. Often I feel like my posessions own me. I have lots of stuff. Probably too much stuff. I got rid of countless garbage bags of things when I moved back to Illinois, but I still have boxes and boxes in Catherine's crawl space, Charles & Peggy's garage, and the apartment closets. Dishes, glasses, appliances, decorations, books, pictures, linens, etc. And then there's the furniture that is still in Carrie & Antoinette's apartment. What am I going to do with all of that when it needs to be moved? (Carrie might be getting her own stuff soon, so this issue might arise sooner than I anticipated.) I plan on moving out of my parents' house and being on my own again eventually. So, I imagine that things will definitely be used again. But what do I do with them in the meantime? Sure, I could store them. But where? I don't know precisely where I'll be living when I need to utilize them next. And, how will I get them from point A to point B? I feel like my stuff is a burden but at the same time I don't want to get rid of it, just to replace it later. Somehow, that seems wasteful and irresponsible. It's just hard not knowing what the future holds or what I'll need at that point.

We keep gathering more and more things around us, yet those things don't necessarily bring more contentment. I admire my boyfriend's (and his friends') minimalist lifestyle. He's living indoors now, but at different times in his life he's lived in a tent, a van, an RV, and a storage trailer. No, he's not a weird hobo or anything. He just wanted to save his money rather than paying rent, and he didn't want a lot of posessions weighing him down. His job and lifestyle allowed for it, so why not?

Why do we always want more stuff, when that stuff has such an ability to control us?

1 comment:

Ruth said...

My favorite "hippies" won a million dollars!! I'm so happy for them. One of the keys to their success, according to them, was their wide-eyed enthusiasm through the whole journey. I can appreciate that.