All Boxed In

My apartment is a wide chasm between growing seas of boxes.

Each end of my apartment has a mounting assortment of boxes or things I’m to purge.

In those boxes is everything from my Christmas crap through to college books I loved. It’s all there. Boxed and boxed and boxed. I hear the Weeds theme on a loop in my head.

“Little boxes…”

Oh, readers: I am not a patient woman. Lord, how I try.

But I am not. I fake patient. Kinda. I’m a good actor. You know, in high school drama, I did one hell of a mean Norma Rae monologue. Oh, yeah, me and Sally Fields, together at last.

But I am not patient. My life right now is torture, I tell you! SO MUCH WAITING. GAH! GAH! GAH!

Back when I made the big decision to move to the Yukon in ’94, you know how that went down? Let me tell you.

On a Tuesday, I mailed my resumes off at 3 in the afternoon whilst chowing down on a honeywheat and plain cream cheese bagel at Benny’s on Broadway, and at 9:15 that Friday I was awakened by a manager of a photo shop in Whitehorse, Yukon, telling me it might be a sign that his assistant manager put my resume on his desk five seconds before his photo lab manager walked in with her resignation. Two weeks later, I was living there and managing a photo lab.

Seriously, inside of three weeks I had the IDEA of moving to the Yukon and then wound up BEING there. Packed, drove, got the job. Whizz-bang, done.

Less than three weeks to move to a place of fabled wilderness where “silence bludgeons you dumb” and all. I’m taking three MONTHS to move to Victoria? I’m gonna lose my fucking nut here! I AM.  GAH! GAH!

[breathing]

Om.

Whew.

Sigh.

Okay. All right. Look. I decide “Here’s what I want to do,” well, the one thing not to do? GET IN MY WAY.

But here I am, all gimpy-girl, she of mega-long-ass-fucking back injury. Well, here’s a good idea: PACK A LOT OF HEAVY BOXES AND SQUAT REPEATEDLY. MAYBE THROW IN DOZENS OF STAIRS CLIMBED 3-FLIGHTS AT A TIME, REPEATEDLY, FOR WEEKS.

I hear that’s AWESOME for backs.

So, yeah, I thought “Doing that with a month’s notice? Not awesome.” PACE THYSELF, SWEETIE.

And there was a little thing called Christmas. Four weeks to enjoy the holidays? Sure. Good plan.

But now I’m all pissed I’m not moving February 1st, but that secretive logical not-completely-dumb-ass part of my brain goes “THANK GOD FOR EIGHT WEEKS.”

Still, I’m off like a shot in the dark and whatever other speedy-ass-Gonzales allusions you wanna dig up. I got me some 10+ boxes packed, plans made, systems conjured. I am all over this like Oprah on a ham, honey.

You know what’s totally demented?

I like the half-empty shelves. That’s working for me. I’m constantly surrounded by my things, things made by my father, and things I inherited from my mother. It’s a little weird when you’re trying to find yourself after long periods of upheaval.

Back in my would-be-sex-blogging days, I once did this very short and to-the-point sex tip. If you’re a woman, and you have trouble reaching orgasm, and there is a photo of your family ANYWHERE IN YOUR ROOM, then get it the hell outta there.

It sounds weird, but there’s this low-level awareness we have when we’ve got familiar faces around us in picture form, no matter what it is we’re doing, and if it’s of parents who chastise us, people who belittle us, and so forth, then that’s problematic.

As much as it’s nice having family stuff at home to ground us, sometimes it can lead to mental places we maybe should take a break from. I’m sort of tired of having family photos around.

Everywhere I look are books and other things gifted from friends and lovers, and things inherited or received from family. That book on my left isn’t just a grammar book, it’s a book an ex gifted on our first date like they were flowers — but it’s not a symbol of all that I enjoyed in that relationship, but instead of all I lost when it ended. Or so it would seem upon first recall.

At least I'll have to take my head out of the sand when I unpack. Until then: New surroundings! AND SANDY.

And that’s just one of dozens, even hundreds of things. Everything has a connection to some tangible memory.

To think there’s no mental baggage that comes from glancing around my home is foolishness.

In a world where we’re hyper-stimulated by visuals everywhere, having a home filled with stuff doesn’t help that come-down period we’re supposed to have when we’re in our so-called sanctuary.

Decluttering would be nice but I’m not sure how much I can whittle down. As I’m going through and packing, some stuff is getting turfed, but is it enough?

I’m hoping that the quicker I can start packing it up, the more emotional distance I might have when it comes to deciding whether or not it returns to my home upon my unpacking.

I’ve been here for 12 years. It’s among the most lived-in rental apartments you’d ever have set foot in. So totally “owned” by me. A new place will be a big change on the emotional scale.

When I realized this week that I’ve spent almost exactly one third of my life in this apartment, I was a little freaked out. No wonder this move is a big deal. How’d I wind up here for so long?

I got stuck.

So, now, with all these boxes around, it’s a reminder that change is afoot. It’s also a reminder to be in the moment and enjoy each passing day, because life will soon be a 180 of what it is now. No commute, working in my pajamas. More time to breathe.

I want to embrace the break-neck stupid that’s about to come down in the form of manic rushing, packing, organizing. I want to have a moment in some 10 or 12 weeks where I can stop, reflect on this period, and really accept that a monumental change of pace has arrived.

58 more sleeps.