I started moving last weekend.
I know that it's really kind of a mundane thing, a not-uncommon occurrence in the lives of, well, countless people the world over (though I am thankful beyond belief that I'm lucky enough to be moving by choice and not because I have to flee some sort of political or environmental unrest)...but it's surprising me how intensely I'm experiencing the process, not only in a physical way (I'm mostly doing the whole thing myself), but also on philosophical/psychological/spiritual/ecological levels.
The concept of "home" is weird for me. I have moved around so much of my life that I generally don't have attachment to place or dwelling in the way I understand other people do. When I think about what "home" means, I don't automatically flash to where I live, or my childhood home, or where my parents live now, or anything like that. I just mostly get kind of confused, and my brain hands me pictures of half a dozen places where I've lived, or where I've visited a lot (like my grandparents' homes, that have been pretty steady for most of my life). But, even though I've been in the apartment I'm leaving for five years (longest stretch under one roof in my whole life!), on some level it's still not Home. So, as I'm leaving it, all my thoughts about this are coming up and I'm looking at them like the navel-gazing overanalytical dork I am.
The really cool thing (of many) is that the place I'm moving into is a huge shift in ecological impact for me. Not only is it a smaller space than what I'm living in now (I've been the sole occupant of a spacious two bedroom for most of the five years), not only will I be sharing it with a roomie (yay! no more covering ALL the rent myself!), but the new place and the new landlords are both green oriented! Composting, energy efficiency, recycling, reduced footprint, and (my absolute fave) soon-to-be-planned-and-planted permaculture gardens in the back. To be able to have an inherent support system to integrate my activist intentions with my home life is, like, breathtakingly AWESOME. Planting and tending a bigger garden is easier with more hands to help out; recycling is easier when more folks share the work; finding ways to step outside consumer culture is easier with more brains to think up creative ways to sidestep BiggerBetterFasterMore Disease. I'm sure it won't be quite the overhaul I think it will be (thank goodness...sweeping changes are so hard to make stick!), but it will be nice to at least talk about these sorts of intentions with likeminded folks, and I think it very likely that more opportunities for supporting positive change in the world will come through this step. Very exciting.
And maybe the most impactful part of the whole experience? NOTHING brings home exactly how much crap a person has collected like literally carrying it all out of one apartment and into another. I'm not even totally moved yet, and it's been jaw-droppingly educational to me recognize just *how* *much* *stuff* I have. And that's including the fact that I've divested myself of at least half of my furniture and such. I mean, I'm moving into less space, with one more person, so I'm simplifying and getting rid of lots of stuff - books I don't see myself wanting to read or reference ever again, movies I am not inclined to watch again, furniture I won't have space for, knick knacks I wonder how I ever acquired in the first place, random stuff I inherited from past roommates and have inexplicably kept over the years. Stuff I don't need, don't use, and forget I have half the time. Useless. So, yeah, I'm cleaning house in that sense, just offloading as much crap as I can. And still I'm amazed at how much stuff I'm bringing to the new place. Carrying it myself makes it seem particularly voluminous, that's for sure.
Speaking of which, the thirtieth birthday looming just over the horizon is sending out advance scouts through this moving process. Last time I moved myself, six years ago, I remember loading box after box and furniture and yada yada yada, load after load until it was all done, without feeling more than little tired. This time around, yikes. My stupid tailbone is rearing its ugly head, sending me the clear message that heavy lifting is no longer a pastime it's willing to tolerate. And that's not even counting all the surprise bruises and cuts and scrapes that are showing up every day: I look like I've been beaten by a couple enthusiastic thugs with baseball bats. Yeah, the body is reminding me that I'm practically thirty, and that smart thirty-year-olds hire fucking movers.
Which I have now done for the big stuff, so that I might be able to walk around the new apartment next week without hissing like a snake every time I move, or resorting to pharmaceutical assistance.
Loud-mouthed liberal feminist. Anarchist knitter. Tequila-drinking artsy-smartsy fat chick. Bluesy folk-rock singer-songwriter. Rebel with too many causes. Quirky eclectic pagan poet. Paradoxical intuitive smartass. Sarcastic brainiac insomniac. You know, for starters.