Material Girl

"Love is a force more formidable than any other. It cannot be seen or measured, yet it is powerful enough to transform you in a moment, and offer you more joy than any material possession could." - Barbara De Angelis

When I made the decision to move to Argentina, I did so for the love of a man, not for the love of my shoe collection, my iPod or my library of books. As I prepare to leave for Necochea, I am slowly divesting myself of most of my belongings. I have sold virtually all of my furniture through craigslist, and last week I wheeled and dealed with buyers to sell a tableful of trinkets at a friend's garage sale.

I have gradually whittled away ten years of accumulated possessions to a few boxes' worth of items. In some ways it has been cathartic to rid myself of excess baggage, but despite that inner voice that says, "It's just stuff," at times it has been hard to part with my material possessions. Aside from the emotional attachment that some items hold, it has been a little difficult to separate myself from the notion that the amount of stuff we have is an indicator of our success in life and who we are. I suppose that feeling is natural though, considering the keeping-up-with-the-Joneses attitude and the messages of materialism that are pervasive in American society. Above all, getting rid of most of my possessions brings home the fact that I really am starting anew, and that fact is a little scary. But hey, who ever said self-reflection was easy?

My new home in Argentina might be a bit more spartan than I'm accustomed to, but my heart is fuller than it has been in a long time.

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