Wednesday, May 30, 2012


I'm packing up my things for the move. Technically we don't have to be out of the apartment until June 10, but Melissa's going on a trip next week and we need help moving furniture out to the storage unit, so all that will now be happening this weekend. Saturday. Among the things headed to the unit is my bed, so I guess that'll be my cue to leave too.

It's odd. I have a lot of things and yet I don't. I was realizing today that if I had no books or furniture, essentially I could pack everything I owned into a single car load. The feeling is liberating. I like the idea that I could live out of my car. I mean, it wouldn't be comfortable necessarily, but I just like the notion that at a moment's notice I could just hop in my car and drive away from everything.

But having books, and bookshelves, and a couch now, and things like dishes and pots and pans that will go unused in this in-between time makes the storage unit a necessity.

"In-between time." Isn't that lovely? But in between what two things? I know what has been but not what will be.

And that's a huge part of why I think I feel so bad right now. I'm packing everything up, but I'm literally going nowhere. Nothing is changing. If anything, I'm moving backwards. How do people live and change and grow? How do people want things and do things and have a life? How do people find other people and connect and function as human beings? I don't know how to do any of those things.

Part of me is bogged down in the mentality that says I need to keep all this stuff in the storage unit because I'll eventually need it again, that I need to bog myself down with debt or imprison myself in this stupid endless cycle of earning and spending in order to pay rent on an apartment that I don't even really like being in that much anyway. There's a lie we tell children that there's a roadmap people follow. Back in the day in my depressed fits (yes, I had them then as I have them now) I'd refer to this series of expected events as "box after box after box." I felt like I was living in a box but that there was an exit at the other end of it, so of course I'd put all my energies toward making it to the other side and getting out. But once you're through that exit you realize it's just led you into another box. This one may be larger or longer, may give you wiggle room, may be a better box than the last box was, but it's still a box. But wait - what luck! There's an exit at the other end. So you race toward it, all your focus on getting there, and you get through and - yep, you guessed it - yet another box.

So the boxes are things like "get good grades in high school so you can get into a good college." Then the college box says things like "make wise choices when it comes to your major and keep your GPA up and do this internship and present that paper and yada yada yada so that when you graduate you'll get a good job." And you get a job - maybe not a good one, not in this economy - and you work there, and then what? This box is perhaps the worst of them all, because it's big enough that you can sometimes feel the illusion of freedom. It's big enough that you sometimes forget you're actually in a box. But you get sucked into that cycle I mentioned before, where you "want" these things - to go out to eat with friends, to buy a movie ticket or a new shower curtain, to buy yet another knicknack to take up space and get dusty on your bedside table - and so in order to get them you sacrifice your time and energy at this job. I'm not saying jobs are bad. You can find a job you love, or your positive attitude can transform a sucky job into a tolerable one. Work can actually be really beneficial.  But when you feel shackled to your job because of debt, then it becomes negative by association.

The other part of me wants to find someone who will take good care of my books, sell or give away the remainder of my furniture and knick-knacks, and do the impractical. Live out of my car. Or better still, sell my car, fly to England with a one-way ticket, and stay as long as I can spending as little as I can. I want to do radical, impractical things. Your life is your story and you only get one, so why not personalize it? Not boxes after boxes after boxes. None of that. I love the fact that George Orwell decided to live "down and out" in Paris and London for a couple years, just soaking in what that was like and then writing about it. Why not? Or Amanda Palmer going off to Germany and living off street performance for a while. I like people who go big and bold and unapologetic, which is funny because I am a fumbling, whispered "so so sorry" of a human being.

The other twinge I'm getting from this move is the idea that I could disappear. The idea that I'm packing away my life into boxes and that it's like getting everything in my life ready for the end. Honestly, my family would miss me, and a handful of friends, and my coworkers seem to like me and would probably be sorry to hear I'd gone so abruptly, but that's a small group of people really. They're kind of all that's holding me here. If they were gone I could slip away unnoticed. Leave my life behind in tidy packed boxes. Carry nothing with me when I go.

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