After our yard sale Saturday, my husband Kevin and I took to the transfer station (a euphemism for the city dump).
The outside of Seattle’s South Transfer Station looks pretty swanky, like a glammed up office building with an attractive drought-resistant landscape. At night, when you drive by, it looks like a Star Wars-type hangar for space ships.
When we drove inside the building, the putrid smell of rotting waste hit me in the face. I slowed my breathing so I wouldn’t smell the horrible stench. It was so strong that I could smell it anyhow, even when I plugged my nose. The brawny garbage men with their hard hats seemed unaffected by the smell, except for one with long dreadlocks who wore a mask over his mouth and nose. I don’t know how they can stand day in, day out, for hours, working in such a disgusting environment.
Inside the building, I saw a line of trucks with people whipping garbage and old mattresses. It was like the solid waste version of the Rockettes. The man in the truck next to us appeared to be shoveling stuff from his truck bed directly into the piles behind him.
It was exhilarating to chuck our junk into the giant piles behind our truck. I’ll admit- as an avid recycler- I felt kind of bad at the same time. Yet I knew that we needed to dump the junk off. Otherwise it would pile up in our front garden, someone would call the Health Department, and producers from Hoarders would show up at our door.
I threw pieces of a broken bookcase like a javelin, and Kevin pitched our old headboard onto the growing mountain of garbage. As soon as we’d emptied the truck bed, we hopped in the truck and slammed the doors shut. Even after leaving the building, we could still smell the yucky stench miles away. It hung on like an annoying guest who’s overstayed his welcome by a few weeks.
We were both happy to dispose of the junk that had been cluttering up part of our yard, which we could have gotten rid of months and months ago (of course we’d hidden it from plain view, but it irked me to no end every time I walked by its hiding spot in the yard). We then drove to Goodwill, to purge more items that we didn’t sell at today’s yard sale. We paid $30 on the way out as a small price for throwing out a truckload of stuff we had no use for. Whew!
While on the road with Kevin, I thought about garbage as an entire metaphor for emotional baggage you schlepp around in your lives. Sometimes actions, habits, addictions look so goooood mm-mmm on the outside, just like the transfer station‘s architecture and fancy grounds. Yet once you’re entrenched in the poor choices, the rank odor paralyzes you. It’s hard to get rid of the emotional baggage with out some residue hanging around like mold. Even when you throw it out, the smell trails you, until you really dig deep and expunge it.
How many people carry around emotional baggage and don’t even know it? How many people’s lives stink, and like the garbage men at the transfer station, are just used to the smell? How many have sold out to the status quo, and are settling for a litter-laden lifestyle?
Clean out the Junk in the Trunk
If you don’t clean out the junk in the trunk on a daily basis with personal development, your emotional baggage will grow and grow and grow (if you think you don’t have ANY, you’re in denial- everybody has a little something too work on), just like the clandestine pile in our yard—but you will know, and it will inhibit your personal growth and long-term success.
What kind of junk do you have in your trunk that’s weighing you down and slowing down your mileage, perhaps even causing you to break down by the side of the road?
P.S. This super short video by T.D. Jakes about junk in the trunk is too funny! Watch it now here, and let me know how you like it.