Thursday, March 1, 2012

Packing It All Up (Again)

I'm always amazed by the onslaught of emotion packing brings.  Today, as I was carefully wrapping jewelry boxes, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and rings, I ran across a tiny locket. A tiny locket with a "B" on the front and a date on the back (12-88). That locket is 22 years old. That locket brought me to tears.

I'm not sure I could exactly describe what it was that came over me. Maybe it's that when you pack, you silently take inventory of all that you have. Maybe with every box, you realize you don't know what you have.

I have found some amazing things. Some things that remind me of moments I had forgotten (that is why I keep these things, after all). I found some things that remind me of moments I could never forget. I have found some things that I have no idea why I hold onto, but I find myself unable to throw them away. I have found some truly odd things that make me think, Is this really all the crap that I own?

In 28 years, I have amassed an impressive library, but I own only 4 plates. I own a million pictures, a boatload of paint, and at least 30 notebooks that are half-filled with various musings, but not a sofa, or a table, or even any chairs.

The first time I moved (or remember moving), I was 13.  Back then, moving was sad. Really sad. It meant I would be leaving all of my friends. It meant that I would no longer live in the only home I'd ever known. It meant I couldn't try out for cheerleading (which, to a 13 year-old girl, is a much bigger deal than I can adequately explain).

Since then, I've moved 10 more times (in 2 weeks the count will be 11). The funny thing about all those moves is that the only time it was really sad was that first time. Every time since then, I've been moving towards something, as opposed to moving away from something.  In August 2002, I moved into my dorm room in Auburn, Al. I moved to college and I just knew I had my whole life ahead of me (that girl really didn't know what was coming). In March 2006, I moved back to Montgomery and into my parent's house. I moved there to become Beckett's Mom. And in May 2011, I moved to Newnan, Ga. I moved to start over, to find a new place for B and me.

This entire post stems from the unstoppable tears that were induced by a tiny locket.  I still don't know exactly what brought on the tears, but I do have an idea. If moving is always now about moving forward, moving in a new direction, then what happens when what you are moving towards doesn't pan out? What if all of the plans you've made fall through? What if the life you envision as the product of this big change in location turns out to be the exact opposite of what you intended?

Moving isn't sad anymore -- it's terrifying.

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