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  • Leah Cee

Ego Clutter

So the new year brought with it an epiphany. I hold on to "ego clutter".

Yes, that's right - ego clutter. Stuff that I proudly keep on my shelves to show my guests how enlightened, cosmopolitan and worldly I am. Stuff that boosts my ego. Whilst trying not to sound self-centred, one does enjoy talking about the time when one travelled the world on a whim. With little regard for the cost of an airfare to a far flung destination, I bought tea towels, guide books, fridge magnets, merchandise and tchotchkes to prove I'd been immersed in a foreign city's culture - however briefly the visit may have been. At the time I may have thought it was a lovely souvenir of my time away, but subconsciously I couldn't wait to show off my wares to anyone who hadn't shared the same fabulous experiences. Three words now come to mind ... Ego Boosting Clutter.

Until recently I had a row of Lonely Planets standing to attention in my bookcase, blatantly placed in a walkway spanning the front door and the living room. They lay in wait for my next visitor to ask about the abundant and exciting journeys of my past. I was ready to regale them with stories of my stage door encounters on Broadway or my two-stepping around a cowboy bar in the middle of Texas, the astounding blue lagoon that lay under my overwater bungalow in Bora Bora, or the sunsets I'd seen from the magical cliffs at Oia in the Greek Islands. So many stories.

In reality, my visitors take not even a cursory glance at my collection of prized mementoes and care not a jot about my past. Instead we chat about which Book Week costume can be recycled from the previous year or the price of chicken fillets in the local Woolies.

I don't need to hold onto the ego clutter any more. I have the photos, I have the travel diaries, I have the memories of my fabulous experiences. I can re-visit those times whenever I like. I don't need to advertise my 14 visits to New York by virtue of the DK Eyewitness Guide on my bookshelf, or wiping my dishes with the tea towel I carried back from Loch Lomond, or polishing a teeny tiny Eiffel Tower so it glimmers for all to see - for no-one cares but me.

I certainly don't need to be dusting any more than I need to. For that is what this stuff has become - dust collecting ego clutter.

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