We’ve been packing and packing every day this week. I love packing for the cleansing of it all. Old things we’ve just been holding onto for … whatever reason… most of the time it’s “Why do we even HAVE this?” are now thrown out, gotten rid of, recycled, given away. I love being able to start over, being able to say, “ok, in the new place – we’re not going to pile mail on the kitchen table until it’s 3 feet high. Never again!” And there’s hope that we’ll actually stick to it.
The part I hate about packing, is the feeling that there is never not going to be STUFF. There is stuff under the bed, up inside the closet, and when we’ve finally cleared out book shelves and the tops of tables, counter tops, etc., we realize there is still a bunch of random crap inside drawers, cupboards, the medicine cabinet. So much stuff.
So much stuff makes me feel panicky. It means a quick escape is impossible because we’re dragging so much stuff behind us. I’m the one who is quick to throw things away. “We haven’t even looked at this or remembered we have it in a year! Just throw it away, don’t even show me what it is, just get rid of it, quick!” I don’t want to let nostalgia creep in. Nostalgia is a pretend feeling – our memories are intact, I don’t need an old t-shirt to remind me of that one time in high school or that fantastic trip down the coast Maris and I took. I don’t need it, I have stories.
Kamel is not so quick to let go of things. But I’ve moved about 3x as much as he has. I’ve learned that there are some things that just aren’t worth it. But he’s getting there. It’s not worth it to agonize over a tiny thing that fits in your palm when you have a whole house to relocate. It’s not worth it, to drag bags and bags of clothes from place to place only to have them sit in your closet and still never be worn.
Bag it, toss it, give it away. Make room for space to breath.
We’ve hired movers. We have boxes filling our entry way. We have naked walls. We’ll be here, filling this space with our stuff on Saturday evening. Saturday. This morning Kamel was laughing and telling me how we totally disregarded our timeline. We just threw it out the window and up and moved. Can you believe it?
We hit a wall, I said. We hit a wall and we just left. Sunday afternoon we heard scratching and rustling somewhere in our kitchen. We sat in the living room, unmoving, listening as hard as we could. Was it the neighbor? Was it inside our house or outside? Little nails scratched on something metal, something wooden, something metal again. Was it the sound of mice? I know that sound very well. Or was it the sound of foil blowing in the breeze?
“It doesn’t matter,” Kamel said, still unmoving on the couch next to me, “We’re leaving in less than a week. It doesn’t matter. Thank God.”
We still wonder if we made the right choice. Did we pick the right apartment? Did we jump in too fast? Should we have looked harder? Found a better deal? Should we have gone with the other place we were looking at.
My answer to these questions is always that it doesn’t matter. We signed a lease. Even if we did totally mess up, we signed a lease, the end.
But really, I think no way. This is an adventure. This is a happy place. Even if, right now, we’re scraping by because of moving costs, and pro-rated September rent on top of our full September rent of the SF apartment, even if we’re crunching numbers in bed every night. Even if all of that, I’m excited. And I’m so, so grateful to be doing this with my buddy.
And I freaking love these windows.