It can be said that I am a pack rat. Not by me – I don’t say that or think it. But I have been known to keep cardboard boxes unpacked for longer than necessary. I am not sure why some delays exist or continue. There is surely a psychological reason for a seemingly unreasonable delay. Perhaps I didn’t want to really sever myself from a past experience or past location: office or home. Perhaps if I never unpack, I will have a logically visible excuse for the disarray I generally feel most days – my life is busy and I don’t see it slowing down any time soon. Also, if the boxes of my life remain in a taped and packed state, I won’t have to make the decision to throw away the things I needlessly want to keep.
Isn’t it romantic?
It isn’t that I am a hoarder – not really, but I am a slight romantic – everything saved has a meaning. One picture or greeting card might show why I made a certain decision and why I thought it was a good decision. Another thing might be attached to an incredible memory, a good one. Another might serve as a memory of a bad experience, thus a reminder of my mistake or error in judgment. Learning to let go has been an issue for me, I’m ok with it but I am willing to work on and conquer this particular issue.
When boxes are emptied, their contents thrown or put away, I always feel liberated. That’s not to say that my office, house, room, or even my car are ever ship-shape, for they are not. But continually working toward order and liberation helps me move on. I do not miss the companies where I have worked or homes I once occupied. I do miss the people and a few of my neighbors. I do not miss long commutes or harsh winters. I do sort of miss forced solitude and the freshness of changing seasons.
You Can Live Anywhere
You can hang your clothes and park your car anywhere. But not any place can be your home, until you let it. You have to let it. Three years ago, my family moved from an inland, unincorporated Los Angeles County town – my hometown of Whittier – to a beach city which required a completely different style of living and attitude. The first five months felt like vacation – literally. That is until my “vacation” was threatened by a flood in my garage; torrential rains led to treacherous driving conditions, washed-out roads and bridges, and eventually, the rained-soaked earth in my backyard could take no more and the water seeped in through the walls of the storage area of my garage – threatening my “stuff” – which all has since been re-organized or thrown away. That dose of reality was enough to knock me out of my dream vacation state. Life.
Home is where you are – where you make it. I think I can take a breath now, enjoy the view for a bit longer and then begin to strategize again about what is next. I have books to shelve and new papers to file, once more. Change, like the wind, breathes new life – enough to change the balance and remind you that not only are you not perfect yet, but you have more to learn, more to organize. More to unpack.
On to the next hello…
by Rayanne Thorn