Sitting on the floor of my apartment, looking at nothing but empty walls.

Everything I own is either gone or packed up. Most went into trash bags. Only few items survived and will be stored at my parent’s house to slowly be forgotten.
Going through every drawer, box and shelf; looking at items I haven’t paid attention to in years and knowing I would have to throw out 99% was an interesting experience.

It was the last step of making this whole thing real.

People keep asking whether I am nervous. My answer is always the same: I’m too busy with daily work to think about what is going to happen in less than a week (!). But clearing out my apartment gave me a taste of what’s to come.

Some things I should’ve thrown out years ago, but instead carried with me from apartment to apartment, always thinking “but what if…!?”. But what if what? There was no reason at all to still have that jacket I wore exactly zero times. Or those flower pots that have been empty for 5 years. Or the broken office chair?
Those were the easy ones, thrown out without a moment of hesitation.

Other things were much harder to deal with.
What about the conical hat I brought with me from Vietnam. Or the scarf I got in Denmark at the day of the ESC finale. Or the poster I bought in NYC that’s been on my wall for the past 8 years. Or the sand from the Sahara Desert I collected at a beach on Tenerife. Fun fact: not the only type of sand I own.

Over the years, we all collect so. much. stuff. It’s human nature to hold onto things that make us happy, that bring forth good memories. Because that is what they are—they’re portals to the past, our best memories and special moments in life.
But do I really need the hat to remember walking through airports and train stations with my backpack and conical hat on top of my head? Or the sand to remember the 6-hour bus ride across the island just to sit on a windy beach under a sky heavy with rain clouds?

No. I don’t need to sift through drawers and boxes to remember those moments.

So off they go—to friends, onto Ebay, into trash bags.

And I keep sitting in my empty apartment, surrounded by memories of the past.

PS: I’m keeping the hat. And the scarf. But the chair and sand had to go.