Before heading to Thailand during the month of April, I packed up all my belongings into two suitcases, and stored them at a friend’s place in Hong Kong. As I left my friend’s house that morning for the airport and proceeded through my routine of patting down my pockets to ensure I had the essentials.
Keys… no keys. Wait, I don’t own keys anymore.
Keys have always symbolized ownership and bestowed a sense of value on those in our society, and it was a strange revelation to think that I no longer owned keys. While living in the US, I had keys for everything. My apartment/condo, my car, my desk drawer at work, a mailbox, and always those keys for which you have no idea what they open (but are scared to throw them away because they might open something one day). Now, as I’m 35 years old, and supposedly in the prime earning years of my life, I had none.
I was carrying everything that I truly needed on me or in bags secured by a combination lock, and as I ventured into this very uncertain time in my life, I’ve been very content about how things have landed and played out. It’s been a place of freedom, and having found a business idea that I’m hugely passionate about, and some close friends who have been by my side for years, moving to another strange land hasn’t seemed as daunting as it should.
It would be so obvious for me to finish by quoting the “money can’t buy happiness” cliche, but I do feel like I am happier with less “stuff” in my life. There are times when I missing having the my DVD collections, or the thousands of books that I used to own around, but with today’s technology, almost all those things can be found easily in digital means. The purging of my belongings has made me a bit less sentimental over objects that I used to place irrational value in, but I do keep a few framed pictures of my family and close friends around, but for the most part, the things I hold most dear to me are the security of my close relationships and the memories of happy times shared with loved ones.
No keys, no problem.