Today I went to Goodwill and dropped off some old clothes that have been riding around in my car, waiting to be donated, for way too long.
Everyone there was so friendly and smiling and grateful for the donations, and the sun was shining, and the helpful gentleman who took the donations from me asked if I wanted a tax exempt receipt.
He asked if I wanted a tax-exempt receipt for my old broken laundry hamper full of clothes that I don't wear anymore. I looked at it, looked at him, and shook my head. He was really doing me a favor - helping me streamline and organize my life a bit more by taking those old things off my hands.
His question stayed with me for a little while, though.
Why in the world does donating my old clothes merit a break in my taxes?
Sometimes I'm so confused by this whole being-an-adult thing. Was it fiscally irresponsible and silly of me to not get a tax exempt receipt, or whatever-it-was he asked me about?
He looked at me in a funny way and said thanks a little more sincerely than before when I said no.
Do people donate clothes just to get a break in their taxes and he was surprised by my lack of this particular motive?
Really, guys. I shouldn't have thought about it for that long, but sometimes, I just get to wondering, and can't stop.
Honestly, sometimes I have to convince myself that I'm an adult. I really feel like I'm just pretending most of the time, and it makes me laugh to think of all the "adults" I looked at when I was a young teenager. I though they were all so calm and had everything figured out.
Spoiler Alert: They probably didn't.
The things I thought meant "adulthood" really now screen bigger thoughts than my little head could have encompassed then:
Yes, I have a set of jingley keys and a car, but I had no idea that meant I would feel such intense terror when it looked like that 18-wheeler was not going to yield to me while I had someone else's daughter in my passenger seat.
Yes, I have a closet full of clothes I've chosen for myself, and a kitchen full of awesome gadgets, but I had no idea of the fierce inner struggle with materialism that these things would introduce in my life.
Yes, I have young girls who look up to me as I looked up to some beautiful women when I was younger.
I had no idea how unworthy I would feel of their regard.
I had no idea how burdened I would feel for their hurts, small though they may seem.
I had no idea how incredibly honored I would feel to hold their hearts, and listen to their sweetest dreams.
Maybe I won't ever know whether or not I should ask for a tax thing of some sort or other when I donate my clothes, much less how to use it to my advantage. Maybe I'll never stop fearing the possibility of idiocy in traffic going 70 mph. Maybe I'll never come to terms with this materialistic world in which I reside as an alien and a stranger.
I would like to think that I can overcome those things, but you know what? I might not.
I hope, though, that I won't ever feel worthy of the hearts that choose to entrust themselves to my care.
I hope I'll never feel callous to those burdens they ask me to help them carry.
That's the the true North - the one thing I am confident of in my adulthood - I must love and be loved, and let my heart break for those whose hearts are broken, and rejoice with those who rejoice til it feels like my heart will burst with the fullness of it all.
The rest is just extra fluff.
2 years ago