When tired is a state of living
I have been feeling very tired lately, and every time I do, I feel like I’ve been totally betrayed by my body. Hey you, you didn’t give me enough sleep. This is all your fault. You should have known that I needed more sleep. You didn’t make me get it. And in each instance, I never think of blaming my alarm, bad public transport, early classes, work, or anything else. It’s always you, you, Body. The body is like a cage. Except you don’t see much of the cage, it’s on the inside. Hidden, so instead of you feeling physically trapped, you feel mentally trapped.
I cleaned my room so intensively and extensively on the weekend. I threw out a lot of books — children’s books, reference books, study guides, junior fiction novels — books that I hadn’t touched in at least two years. It breaks my heart to let them go, and I know people will be disappointed in me, probably ask “what kind of bookworm are you?” and tell me I should have kept them, given them to my children, given them to my nieces, and so on. But that’s the whole point. It’s tiring to keep this kind of stuff in the back of your mind. You know you won’t read those books again. You know it’s a better idea to give it to someone who will use it, but what if you don’t know anyone who does? And who’s to say that the person you’re giving these books to — isn’t just going to draw all over them, or pass them on, or even throw them out?
Books are amazing things, and used to love digging into a pre-loved book, and I still love browsing through bookstores at all the classics, and I still love perusing the used books section in markets. But that is the beauty of books. You will always find new ones to read. Books aren’t about collecting. They’re about sharing. Sharing the words you have with the rest of the world. For those less fortunate, for those who can’t afford them, or for those who, like you, just want something new to read.
It doesn’t matter if they’ve been thrown out in the end. What matters is that you loved them while you had them. All loves will eventually die, for whatever reason, and the same goes for books. Inanimate objects. Things. Bundles of paper. Bundles of paper that are not known until they’ve had their covers opened, discovered, by new fingers.
And so was the day I pulled a hundred books from my shelves, for them to continue, on the next chapter of their journey.
And the more I cleaned my room, the more I realised I had gone over that bridge. How hard had it been for me to throw out anything I hadn’t touched in a year? If you asked me a year ago, I would have yanked that Valentine’s Day card from my ex-boyfriend right out of your hands, filed away the assignments from my Bachelor’s degree, and told you to get out of my room and leave my shit alone.
But two days ago? You could point out almost anything in my room, and I would tell you how much time it had left. I would be able to tell you. Now, it’s going. Or next week, it’s going. Or when I fill it up, with words, or when I finish reading it. Or when it changes colour. Change tells us everything, and so does the little voice inside us. Things, objects and stuff are not a part of us. I can tell you exactly when the things I own will expire, will lose their value, and will no longer be useful.
I can tell you that what matters to me is getting up in the morning. I can tell you that nothing in my room is as important as I once thought it was. And that’s all because it’s in my head. Each memory, and what I need to remember, is in my head. Even when I’m tired. Even when you’re tired, the most important things will still be in your mind, and they’ll still matter.