- Pants that fit me last year, but are now three sizes too big
- Books from my classroom library
- Other teaching supplies from my classroom
- Picture frames that are perhaps broken and perhaps salvageable for alternate purposes
- Paint cans
- A massive collection of cassette tapes
Honestly the vast majority of things I find fall into one of two categories: Things I Need to Find the Proper Way to Dispose of and Things I Am Going to Do Something with Someday.
The teacher things and the pants, though, they are different.
They are bits of identity. I once was this. I might be this again.
Do I want to gain back those 20 pounds? No, of course not. Not that I was by any means, needing to lose 20 pounds, but it did take me from the high end of my healthy weight range to just below the middle of it. But my weight has been known to creep upwards in a slow but steady manner. I might fit into those pants again in a year's time, and who knows if I will be able to afford new things then. Right now I'm certainly struggling to find things I like and can afford.
Did I want to lose my teaching job? Not really. But I'd been struggling to teach for years. For two and a half years I looked for and despaired of looking for a position. The one I had lasted a year and a half, and was a far cry from what I'd been doing in my New York City classroom. I felt like my hands were tied, like no one cared, and like we were purposely isolated from one another. Five years now, I've been holding on to classroom supplies and books, wondering if I'm ever going to use them again. I've moved this stuff twice. Every time I clear out, I let a little more of it go. I put the pens, staples, and other general office supplies into use. I donate books to the library. It's not all gone yet, but I'm starting to feel like the desire to use it, is.