All That Crap…

It’s funny how your place becomes your place only when you’re ready to leave it. You go through some old stuff and look at the junk you’ve collected, triage it, and suddenly there’s room, flooring, less dust… It’s a wonder you ever lived in that cramped up place. It’s only your place once your belongings are packed into boxes. Your “whole life” (at least in the material sense), it all suddenly seems so trivial and unimportant and you find yourself wondering why, oh why, you don’t leave it all behind and get that weight off your shoulders. Sometimes I dream of living of one suitcase- just imagine the freedom. But I digress…

Blank slates are confounding because they are both new and old- the opportunity is always fresh, but the person you’ve become always stubbornly tags along. You want a fresh start, but there never actually is a ‘fresh start’ per say. ‘Fresh starts’ are born and raised within your mind. No one advertises about the will it takes to change anything-whether it’s your self or your circumstances. We all would like to believe that if we just make up our mind… that ‘making up your mind’ is the hardest step. Except it isn’t. The hardest step is ‘implementation’. Anyone specialized in change management will tell you that.

So ‘your place’, the place that was your home for a bit, the place you came back to almost every night, is only your place once you take a look back from the door, once it’s empty and all the idiosyncrasies only you know come to life; the slant on the floor of the entrance or the holes in the wall where a picture frame once rested… The things no one else but you noticed, but has a history. You appropriate your place really within that moment of impending departure. Isn’t it ironic? It’s like a little movie inside your mind… There are wine stains on the rug from a house warming party and the girl who hosted it is a part of you, but she also seems like a different person from the angle at which you’re standing. There are the empty bookshelves and the stories that now fill your head, and you’ll revisit those old friends, the novels and the feelings from once upon a time, and remind yourself of states of minds from the scribbled notes in the margins.

There’s an adjustment period required. It’s like buying a new pair of jeans- somehow, you know the old pair was full of holes and not presentable anymore, but it hugged every curve the way it should, it had moulded itself to you. Basically, I’m making a metaphor about more than just moving… It feels like a long dragging goodbye, from the moment all these things are put into boxes to  the now, when you stare at the remaining cartons of belonging- I keep telling myself I’ll unpack… Someday. Eventually. Physically, you live in this new apartment, but sometimes you write down your address and forget it has changed (also happens in January and getting the year right). It’s like living in a “non-lieu”, or non-place, to quote Augé…  An interchangeable space where you also don’t have an identity yet. The old apartment isn’t home anymore, but neither is this one- not because it’s not a pleasant place to live in, but just because you haven’t appropriated that “space” yet.

Anyhow, in my case, it’s not quite as dramatic-a-feeling as nostalgia, but there is definitely some form of clinging, even if I can’t explain to myself why. Truth be told, there is so much relief in leaving the past behind- growth spurs always hurt a little and it feels nice when injuries finally heal. If you think about it (I didn’t used to think it), time can heal so much.

So I feel a mix of apprehension and excitement for new days to come.
‘Guess that’s how growing up feels like…

But I guess it’d be better if I actually organized and shelved all that crap…

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