Monday, July 30, 2012

On the Road Again

This is the fourth time I have moved in the last two years.  That's not counting the packing up and storing of all my stuff at the end of each academic year at Smith, and the subsequent unpacking into a different room the following fall.   I'm so unbelievably, down-to-my-bones tired of moving.  I'm tired of finding boxes, of cramming everything I own into them, of tape getting stuck, of losing my marbles over how to get everything done, of paying exorbitant amounts of money for moving help and U-Haul trucks, of signing new leases, of breaking old leases, and of never feeling at home.  I'm tired of it all.

I know that this is what being in your twenties is supposed to be about, on some level: being unmoored, portable, and (relatively) spontaneous, given that I am unattached, unmarried, childless.  I certainly wouldn't argue that moving a family of five is more difficult than moving myself, a friend, and two unruly cats, but I still crave stability.  I want to be able to attach things to the walls without Command strips because I don't have to worry about getting a security deposit back in six months or a year.  I want to actually unpack things, instead of just stowing overstuffed plastic totes under my bed or in a closet, because I'll just have to pack it up again, anyway.  I want to be able to give someone my address without the caveat that by the time they send something, most likely I won't be there anymore so they should probably send it to my parents' house instead.

All of which leaves me with a wary sense of excitement and tentative relief at the prospect of where I will land on this move.  After all, the first floor of a cute little Victorian house on the outskirts of New Haven will be home to me for at least the next three years.  I can settle in there, I hope.  I can set up my printer, I can find a place for my Crock-Pot, I can maybe even start going to the dentist twice a year, like you're supposed to do when you live in one place long enough to keep appointments like that.

And really, I know there are worse things.  I really do.  I know that even setting aside the horrendous troubles of the world at large and other people's pains that I'll never try to compete with, I myself have gone through a hell of a lot worse than moving.  I know that.  But when I stand in the kitchen, here, and remember how sad and desperate I was when I moved in, and I remember all the times I've cried on this here floor, and I take a bite of the lunch I just made out of things I'm trying to use up in the kitchen so I don't have to pack them (i.e., rice with eggs and Sriracha sauce) and the rice has the nerve to be undercooked because I can get into Yale and I can't cook rice, what the hell is wrong with me and I start to cry, again - it just seems like a bit much.

In a few days, this will all be over, I tell myself.  You just have to keep pushing to get through the next few days.  Put everything in a box.  Don't worry about it not being organized, just label it so you know.  (This is how you end up with boxes with labels like BEDSIDE LAMP, TUCKER TREATS, WEDDING DRESS, HUMIDIFIER, WAX PAPER.)  Keep taping up boxes until it's done.  Try to sleep a bit, then go pick up the moving truck.  Drive.  Don't think about how scary it is that you're driving a 20-foot long vehicle, alone.  Just drive.  Move things into house.  Hope the moving men speak English.  Return scary huge truck.  Go back to the yellow house that is now home.  Collapse.  Get up again.  Commence unpacking.  Find a place for everything.  Make your bed, and if necessary, bury your head in your pillow that smells like your shampoo and Tucker's sweet fur, and the old t-shirt you sleep in.  Cry again, if you must.  Then get up and keep going.  Because it will work out, I tell myself.  It has to.



This makes me want to give you a hug and send you a rice cooker. (I can't cook rice, either.)

I can get tired just thinking about moving. And just yesterday I unpacked one of those wackily-labeled boxes. It included, among other things, leftover supplies from Westley's home birth and about 12 pairs of ratty thong underwear.

I'm sending you lots of good moving vibes. And I hope you get settled—REALLY settled—in your new place soon.

Anonymous said...

I completely understand how you feel. I hate moving and have also moved four times in two years...and I've been at my place for over a year now and there are still a few unpacked boxes! Change is hard, but you'll get through it. You need to get some good take out and deserve it!