Remember when building a fort was fun? When covering your floor with boxes and draping a sheet over it stressed your parents out because every time they walked they banged their foot on a box or had to strategically move around your so-called "fortress" just so they wouldn't knock it down. You seriously couldn't figure out why they were so annoyed. Well....I get it! I know what you wondering, "Did it seriously take me 25 years to figure out why?" Give me a minute to explain this epiphany. I promise you will be in tears when I am done. Well not in tears, but you're interested now, right? OK so here it goes...
The weekend before thanksgiving was our "lets go through our stuff" weekend, where we packed boxes among boxes of things we would store, sell, or just plain throw away. We had so many piles of these three categories I swear I felt like I was training to join the circus with all the acrobatic movements I was doing to get around our tiny little condo. But it wasn't the piles of boxes that annoyed me or the fact that I think I might have stubbed my toes at least 12 times, it was the realization that boxes meant both the end and the beginning of a stage in life. After taking down the last frames off the walls, tears starting streaming down my face. I thought to myself, "Why in the world do I care so much about these belongings?" More than half of them were stored in a drawer or closet somewhere, and to be really honest, I have already forgotten half the stuff we have recently stored.
So why was I so sad? Well I was sad because I realized I won't get to look at my awesome possessions every day. Nope that's not it! I mean I know I have awesome stuff, but I really didn't care if my walls were bare. Maybe it's because I bought all these possessions with my hard-earned money. Nope, that still wasn't it. Then it hit me like a pile of bricks (or in this case like a pile of boxes) and I realized I wasn't actually sad, I was annoyed. I was annoyed because I am leaving every comfort I know and enjoy, and the thought of that is terrifying and also (I hate to admit it) extremely shallow. I was angry at myself for being so sad that I was boxing and selling my possessions. Seriously why do I need three hand-painted gator plates that I use only during tailgating season and then they just sit on top of my fridge collecting dust the rest of the year? Are my friends really that fancy that they need hand-painted plates to eat off of? Well I can assure you I am not that fancy, and well come to think of it, neither are my friends. That's why we are friends :)
By no means am I trying to sound enlightened. I know it's going to suck not having a blow dryer or my awesome Tempurpedic pillow while in Guyana, and I can guarantee when I come back I will be yearning for these things I once boxed up. The point is that it is really hard to let go of physical things, even though we all know money doesn't buy happiness.
But now I think I understand why my parents were annoyed at my fortress building, well at least I think I do. Other than it really is annoying to have to live among boxes and stub your toes over and over again; whether you are moving in with someone for the first time, moving down the street, to another state or country you lose a bit of your treasured comfort, and that's hard to swallow. I am still dealing with this loss and will probably deal with it for awhile, especially after the first time I have to hand-wash my own clothes...Oh jeez what am I getting myself into. But I really am happy that I get to challenge myself in a way I never imagined.
Anyway the weekend was difficult, but nothing a good meal and martini and some light-hearted conversation with "Nate the Great" doesn't make better.
Till next time.