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Purging

October 12, 2008

I’ve spent the last two weeks purging.

I’m not sure what started it all. For quite some time now I’ve had a reminder on my desktop to go to Goodwill, and about twelve days ago I decided to finally act on it. I went through my closet, expecting to come away with a small bag of clothes, and instead walked out with three large bags stuffed to the brim. I hadn’t done this in years. I guess I always had that lingering feeling that I “just might wear” that shirt that I never wear or those pants that I never don. It felt good to put that feeling aside and give those things to people who will actually use them.

Giving to Goodwill got me in the mood to purge even more, so I went on this literary sabbatical last week. The intent was to purge all my worldly possessions and just write for a week. It didn’t quite turn out like that, because I stayed at a friend’s condo that was stocked with all of their worldly possessions, but it was still nice to change environments for a week. I read some Neil Gaiman, got excited about writing again, had some great conversations, spitballed some interesting ideas. It was a good week.

During the week, I committed two specific acts of purging: One, I went vegan for a day. That was very tough. I expected to feel very weak from the lack of protein, but I ended up feeling fine. The only things I really craved were sweets, so it helped to learn that many cookies you find at the grocery store are actually vegan. Breakfast was an apple turnover and a spoonful of peanut butter; lunch was Indian food (no cream sauce), dinner was okra in tomato sauce over rice and a three-bean dip. All very good and very healthy. A dietary purge.

Two, I gave blood. If I can give clothes, why not the red oil that streams through my veins? Again, I expected to feel really weak, but the converse was true. I felt strong. I felt brave. I felt like I was giving something that’s truly worth giving. My ego would like to know if my blood actually saves a life or if it’s just used on some horror movie set, but I think I can safely assume it’ll be put to good use.

Purging. Maybe this will become a theme in my life. Streamlining, simplifying—these are things that aren’t only good on a personal level; rather, they’re important in the business world as well. I’ll see if I can apply the theme when I return to work tomorrow.

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