Suesa Rambles - Packing up a Life
By wnk1029 on pixabay.com
The moving date draws closer, if nothing horrible happens (let's just assume it won't), a moving company will pick up our stuff and some selected pieces of small furniture on the 16th of July, and we will fly over to Ireland the day after.
This leaves us/me with the task of packing up everything into boxes - and deciding what will actually leave the country, what will be gifted to other people, and what will land in the trash.
I'm used to getting rid of stuff, I'm very used to moving. Although I've lived inside the same ~20-30 km radius for 21 of my 22 years, I've moved a lot back and forth, which of course came with letting go of things each time. So it's not that hard for me.
And then again ...
I've tried the Marie Kondo way of asking "Does it spark joy?" and oftentimes, the reply is "no, but it used to". Sometimes it is "well, yeah, but you already judged Muffin for keeping something of similar sentimental value, so you can't keep this without being a hypocrite".
I've thrown away a lot, several trash bags of stuff. We've given away a lot. Like a lot. Of course, we could've sold it, but would it have been worth the hassle? Yes, 100 pieces that are worth 2€ each on average are still 200€. When I look at it like this, it feels like we shouldn't have given anything away for free. But would it have been worth the hassle?
We decided that the answer to that is a clear no and instead gave it away. Many of the people, most of the time strangers (thanks to an online gifting group), we're visibly thrilled upon receiving our stuff. One guy jumped on his bicycle at 9 am in the morning to pick up some old computer games, just so he could make sure that he'd be the one receiving them.
I gave away a bunch of dragon books I had bought when I was 11 years old, saving my pocket money for months. A 10-year-old girl received them and you should've seen her face.
Giving away things that have been gathering dust to people who are excited about them feels good on one hand, on the other, I wonder if I have made the wrong decision. It's a lot of money after all.
But it's not always about money, is it? I like to think it's not. I try to act in a way that's not, and maybe some of you have seen that here on Steem. I value joy and human connection more than being rich.
Okay, easy to say for someone who doesn't struggle financially, I get it. But I did grow up with parents who had less money than social security would have paid (had they been eligible) because they had both just started university when I was a year old. I know what it's like to be worried about money.
That went a bit off-track for a moment, but I'm keeping it because the post is titled "Suesa Rambles" and you knew what you were in for when clicking this.
As of this moment, there are 18 moving boxes standing in my room, and I expect to pack maybe 5 more (possibly less). It's weird realizing that the life of two people can fit into such a small space, especially considering that there's technically still a lot of stuff we don't need and just chose to keep.
It's unsettling to think that we've gotten rid of at least the same amount of stuff.
What does one really need to live? Which of your things do you really use, which didn't you touch in years except for moving them around or dusting them off?
Which didn't you touch to even do that? How many boxes stand around in your attic, your basement, your "storage room" that have gone unopened for years, and you're not even entirely sure what is in them?
We hoard things, even if we're not hoarders. We hold on to items that mean something to us, that meant something to us, that might become useful again one day.
How many of these plastic bags under your sink to you really need?
Are you sure you will wear those clothes again that haven't fit you for a decade now?
Be honest, how much stuff has accumulated over the years? And how hard would it be to really go through all that and decide if you really want it or not?
I hate moving with a burning passion. I start packing up months before the moving date, creating a constant atmosphere of restlessness and discomfort. But it's nearly impossible to not do that because I will start panicking otherwise.
I hope that we won't have to move any time soon again, I hope I'll be able to spend a decade in my new home - and maybe even longer?
The fact that scientists are often expected to relocate to a different country for a job scares me. I like traveling, I like to see the world, but I don't like giving up my home.
But in contrary to software engineers, freelancing is not really an option for most biologists.
Guess I'll just have to close my eyes and hope for the best.
The kitchen is the only room left that I have to go through, every other room only contains things that I mentally labeled with "pack up on the last day because we might still need this".
The apartment feels weird, foreign, almost hostile as if it wants us to move out, to finally leave. And at the same time, it's like something's trying to keep me here, trying to remind me why we rented this 4 years ago.
But this has never been a home, I thought about moving out even before we had fully moved in. I have been making plans for years, never really settling in.
It's time to leave.