I have something of a packrat mentality. If it doesn’t cost much to keep something, why throw it away if there’s even the most remote chance you could get even the slightest use out of it again? Recently, I realized that I had boxes that have been with me for two or three years that have never been opened or unpacked. The things inside — whatever they were — had been completely forgotten about. I still had those things. I still owned them. But there was no way I’d have ever used them.
So I purged. I threw away what must have been a dozen giant, black trash bags full of things that I had accumulated and carried around for the better part of a decade. I donated several boxes of stuff to Goodwill. I don’t miss any of it; I could probably stand to purge even more.
One of the problems I found with having so much stuff was that it created a certain amount of inertia. It makes moving harder, it changes your behavior, and it changes the way you think about who you are and where you live.
I realized, after doing all that purging, that I had the same problem with my blog. I had more than a decade’s worth of posts — three-quarters of a million words, much of it utter crap — that was attached to any new thing I wrote. The blog had a history, style, and identity that was a weird amalgamation of the all of the people I’ve been since I was 19. There was too much inertia to write anything new.
So I decided to start over. The old posts are probably not coming back — at least not any time soon. As far as the blog is concerned, I’ve purged; this is a fresh start.