Everything is Up in the Air
It’s been two weeks since I’ve posted on my blog. It’s making me anxious, one more ticking clock, the others I’m unable to locate since my home is in chaos as I prepare for my move next weekend. My life is like the children’s game, or more precisely the prank, 52 Card Pickup. Everything is up in the air, in disarray, including the organization of my mind, a virtual house of cards, as I teeter on the brink of collapsing emotionally and physically. I’m reminded how much I depend upon my daily compulsive behaviors to keep me anchored and how they prevent me from metaphorically floating or wandering away.
Yes, MOVING IS HELL ON EARTH! Yet, before I go on a rant, I want to acknowledge how fortunate I am, that my problems pale in comparison to those who have lost their homes and loved ones to tornadoes in Oklahoma, or the woman I’ve known whose life was cut short by cancer this past week, or the talented and troubled 46-year-old musician who slipped away in his sleep. Life provides daily reminders that I’m a lucky girl and I’m grateful.
Everything Must Go
Last weekend I joined my sister Tami and her artist friends for a weekend patio sale. While Tami and her friends’ tables featured jewelry, photography, tile art, handmade soaps, and some offered services like henna tattoos and feather hair extensions, I schlepped 15 cardboard boxes from my storage unit to sell prior to my move. I was ready to let go of material things from boxes I had not opened in the five years since I moved into this condo. Much to my surprise I returned with three totes of rediscovered treasures, small items which held big memories.
Letting go of the rest was therapeutic, it lightened my load and helped me remember that it’s not the material things that we hold onto that give our lives meaning, but the people and experiences we connect with and encounter in our daily lives. In the end, I gave away more than I sold at the patio sale. My niece Jennifer inherited by Beatle albums, the first records I bought at the age of 14. Ron, Tami’s husband, grabbed music from The Band, so he could decorate the walls of “The Bunker,” his basement man space. My niece Gemma, Tami’s daughter, received a hand-me-down, my Rawlings softball glove. There were more stories like that, more letting go.
In addition to the vintage vinyl records, jazz, blues, rock ‘n roll, folk and women’s music from the 1960s through the 1980s, I sold or donated feminist literature that spanned the same decades, Our Bodies, Ourselves, Sisterhood is Powerful, and The Female Eunuch. My “Lesbian Chic” Barbie that friends customized for me as a gift, a butch Barbie in a tuxedo found a home in my sister’s neighborhood with lesbian partners, whose two preteen girls immediately wanted possession of the new Barbie who joined their household.
I gave away my box collection, one at a time, to anyone who expressed interest after examining one. Dishes, linen, vases and picture frames, everything must go, and most of it went. The experience, like most things in my life, reminded me of a movie, a dramady, Everything Must Go, a film featuring Will Ferrell, as an alcoholic salesman who in one day loses his job, returns home to find that his wife has left him; she’s changed the locks on the door, and has dumped his possessions on the front lawn. Since he has no place to go, he has a yard sale, everything must go and the experience becomes a strategy for survival.
Everything Seems Unmanageable
Moving is like falling down the rabbit hole, you don’t know where you’re going until your gone. It’s an Alice in Wonderland kind of experience where nothing is really what it seems.
As I pack up my home and examine the items that populate my life, I fear I will lose my way as I lose track of things that create the foundation of my material life. My anxiety is heightened by the fact that I can’t control people, places and things, so for me as a person in recovery, when my life is most unmanageable, my serenity slips away too. Though I have honed skills as a project manager, moving is much like a Whack-a-Mole game, just when I think I have everything in control a new problem pops up.
Everything Will Be Okay
I’m a glass half-full kind of girl, so as I look ahead to the end of the move, to the unpacking and rediscovery of my life in transit, when everything is good again and everything will be okay. It will be a little like Christmas, as I unwrap the material things that give my life pleasure or meaning. I enjoy the nesting stage, decorating my new home and getting resettled. I’m a visual person and my home provides me with aesthetic comfort, a mirror of who I am, and an anchor for where I am.
Stay tuned for A Moving Story III: Home Again.