A Note On Moving

Human existence is quantifiable. How many boxes do I require? How many trash bags and recycling bins do I fill? Tens years can be neatly wrapped up and arranged into brown paper cartons. The books that will be reread go here. The clothes that fit are folded neatly and put there, in the bin beside the books. Here are the knick-knacks and totally random objects that possess some redeeming sentimental value (a Lipton tea tag in Arabic, plane tickets, campaign pins, Harry Potter tattoos, a windup toy). Here are the kitchen utensils: a blender, measuring cups, spatulas and wooden spoons.

It’s become a study in negative space. Open the closet – hangers without clothing. Look at the bookshelf – empty planes broken only by the favorites, everything else has been donated. It looks sparse now. Imagine this evening, two days from now, Wednesday night, when these walls will be blank. Purple-ish grey, no posters, no bulletin board; just space, a canvas for another person to mark as her own. A cozy corner of the world from which a stranger will watch the snow fall and the sunrise. A space left empty by someone who has used it well, loved it wholly and moved on.

It’s becoming a study in positive thinking. This space could represent pre-emptive loneliness or it can suggest possibility – it can be freeing to get rid of the unnecessary, to pack up and move. I can dwell on what I’m losing or being distanced from, or I can focus on how I’ll find my niche in this new community. When you’re brain only processes in extremes – black and white, good or disastrous, thin or fat – it requires a constant conscious effort not to be dragged down by the possibility of catastrophe. It requires a almost continuous affirmation that not only will I survive, but I’ll actually adapt and thrive. This is an adventure. This is an opportunity. You’re allowed to grieve, but at the end of the day appreciate the changes.

Moving is a privilege. Our moves have defined me – made me eager for change, excited to travel and exceptionally adaptable. It is only through relocation that I have experienced the diversity that is America in ways that none of my peers has. This will be the sixth community into which I have entered in my twenty short years. I plan to move in with a smile on my face and my bags lighter than ever before. Since no space, figuratively of course, is dedicated to despair or regret, I’ll have ample room for to gather observations, hopes and experiences.

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