Moving a Life

Moving is a funny thing. Taking belongings from one place to the other shakes off the dust and brings things to light that perhaps I wanted to stay hidden. It forces me to clean out the back closets and stare at the duplicates I somehow gathered.

Moving brings more than my things to the glaring light of day. With every piece I put in a box I am reminded of why I kept it. This tea cup came from my great grandmother. This pot came from the thrift store when I first moved out. This sweater is ugly, but a family member gave it to me, I feel guilty about giving it away, so I keep it. I am sure I will use this someday, so I keep the too big water bottle.

Moving also reminds me of the things I wanted to ‘get around to’ someday. Like watercolor painting, making ice cream, and finishing that one project. The memories, dreams, and emotions wrapped around every piece is exhausting to go through.

Moving is more than transferring my things. It is moving my hopes, my dreams, my very life. Uprooting myself from my routines and well known ways of doing things and transferring it all to another place. A new place where I will create new routines and ways of doing things. The dust and memories I have stirred up during this move will settle back down into new places that are easily ignored and quickly forgotten.

Moving is the time to take stock of my possessions. It is easier now to decide if I really should keep that one weird spoon than it will be later. Not as tricky now to decide if I really will get around to finish that project, or if I should give up on it. As I take all these things from one house to another, as I pack up and condense my life into a few piles on the floor, I am struck again with the question of how much I really need. If I am fine with it living in a box for a couple of weeks, do I really need it in the first place?

Perhaps not.

Shaina Merrick