Wednesday, June 15, 2005

My life in boxes and bags

I have officially moved out of my stinky trailer.

Can I tell you how much I hate moving?

I hate it. I hate that all of the things that represent my life and its accomplishments can be summarized into just so many featureless boxes and bags. I then hate that I think of my life in terms of the things I own. Then, I hate that I've accumulated so much stuff in so little time. How could I possibly need all of that stuff? I denounce myself as overly materialistic a few times and then I just plain hate the drudgery of getting those last few things that seem to stick in the shadowy cupboards and corners. Just when you think you've gotten every last thing, you discover a drawer full of utensils that you forgot. Or, you remember that the freezer is full. It seems like the bags of miscellaneous stuff will outnumber the "kitchen" or "bathroom" bags. (I use the word "bag" a lot because I ran out of boxes very quickly and had to resort to handled grocery bags. Very tricky. Shows lots of lack of foresight.)

I hate moving so much that I've never actually moved myself. I try to be as absent as possible in the process. When I first moved from my parents' home, I wasn't there at all; my ex-husband did all of the work while I met with the caterer, I think. Stuffed animals, furniture, teen magazines from the bottom of the closet all packed impersonally for me to sort out later. The second and third moves were also primarily him and his friends with their rag-tag vehicles, creating a parade of stuff. I lost some precious things in the process but I just considered that payment to the higher powers of fairness for not doing any of the work. (I am, in my heart, a true Calvinist.) When I was packing up my house in order to move out here, plenty of people came over and said, "Just point me to a closet and I'll pack it for you." Also, my mother came over a few times just to sit on a bucket and talk to me while I pulled the final things out of corners. She also helped me clean the house once it was empty because, regardless of how hard it was to leave that house that I had bought with Dennis, she communicated - without ever saying a word - that it was important to give this new couple that was moving in a good experience of homecoming.

I decided that I would move myself this time. And I did. And I hated it. But, it wasn't actually that hard. Part of the ease was that there is only so much stuff that can fit in a trailer. The other part is that I wasn't finding little Dennis artifacts unexpectedly. Also, I didn't have to sort much. I've always seen moving as an opportune time to sort and clean what I had been meaning to sort and clean for the entire time that I lived in a place. It's a silly expectation but I have it. However, in a trailer, everything has to stay somewhat organized or life gets really really difficult. So, I only had three categories: stuff to take with, stuff to give to The Exchange and stuff to send home.

Jeff went by this morning to get the stuff for The Exchange (I'm working a double shift today), but other than that, I did it all myself. And, I didn't cry. I consider it a triumph.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Stay strong my princess. Or as your grandmother keeps saying - be yourself. But I never knew what that meant. Love, dad