Monday, May 28, 2018

Pack Up More Than Boxes

        Ah, moving. A multi-step, draining, and never glamorous process that I have yet to master. I should be a professional at it by now considering I have moved a whopping four times, just in these past four years. Move after move, I think this will be the time that I will not wait until the last minute to begin, I won’t get overwhelmed with the “stuff” that I have accumulated, and I won’t go down a dark winding tunnel of sentimental reflection as I sort through my belongings.  But yet, every move I actually get worse at all of these things. The older I get, the more attached I get to places, people and memories, that make it harder to let go.

Moving, whether it be up the street or across the country, can be so exciting. “Look out folks, new girl in town!” It is a breath of fresh air that awakens new beginnings to stir up in your entire soul. But I must come down from the clouds a bit to say that change can be hard. Moving out of my most recent apartment, I found myself having a particularly harder time sealing up boxes and sweeping the (many) final dust bunnies. This past year brought many hardships and growth like I have never experienced before. My senior year was driving me on a long, bumpy road trip that did not stop once for a pit stop. And this apartment was there for all of it. 
       I agree and naw on the words of reflection from other authors and mentors that have shared that your apartment knows you better than anything else could. I believe this to be so true. The creaky floorboards, the egg shell tinted walls, and the finicky gold bedroom doorknob of my old apartment were there to witness a dear amount of life. This apartment was there for every joyful victory, every late night cry, and every uncontrollable belly laugh. In fact, every place that any of us have ever dwelled in has witnessed all of these things. I reflect on every place I have lived in and I am overwhelmed by the memories that are associated with place after place. I can instantly be transported back to exactly what that time in my life held for me. I can smell the surroundings, vividly see the people that accompanied that era, and I suddenly encounter an extreme emotional awareness of exactly how I was feeling. You see, our emotions and our memories cling on to and burrow in the most specific and miraculous crannies. They choose how they wish to be rejuvenated and relived. Often times, a specific "place" as their point of access. I have found that appreciating the present moment as it comes is one of the best ways to preserve these feelings and memories. 

Your current place of dwelling may not be as picture perfect and idealistic as you would like for yourself. But, remember to be kind to your apartment, house, attic, shack. Those walls that surround you and the roof over your head are there for your comfort and your safety. And believe it or not, they are the keepers of your memories. Begin the preservation process now while you are still there. 

I will begin the dreaded cycle of moving again in just two months. This time, a much bigger move. I have a steady flow of excitement paired perfectly with anxiety of the unknown rushing through my veins as that big move approaches. I know that the next four walls that surround me will take care of me and are just as excited to see what this next season of change is going to hold for me as I am. Until that time, I have more memories and more life to preserve in the place I am now. Summer in Chicago has officially arrived and it is time to thrive. 

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