There’s something really eerie about packing your belongings. You sort once loved items into “donate,” “sell,” and “pack” piles. You start to channel your inner Dorothy the Organizer from Hoarders, growing incrementally more brutal with each emptied drawer. Sometimes you come across something that makes you pause and wonder why you forgot about it, and how time went by so quickly. And you place it begrudgingly into the “donate” pile with a pang that stings your insides with a lapping, nagging swash of guilt.
I spent all of Labor Day weekend packing, gutting, cleaning, and organizing our condo, trying to get it ready to sell. So far, in this whirlwind of moving mayhem, having to sell my house is the most gut-wrenching part. It was the first house we owned together, and it’s been this scrumptiously perfect bungalow of downtown Salt Lake City for us. This house is the only house little Pagoda has ever known, and Royal loves the cooled floors more than he loves stealing my pillow. I worked form home here and decorated for Christmas here, and I’m having a really, really hard time giving up these 900 square feet. It’s not much, but it’s mine.
This move is unsettling as moves so often are. I’m giving up my home, and I’m giving away so many things, and I know things don’t mean anything, but they’re still little things with little memories connected to them. Things that were on my shelves that made this house a home. I sold my first DSLR and tripod. Gave away Royal’s favorite office chair for sunbathing. And while our house is finally spotless and ready to sell, I can’t help but feel a little scraped out–like a giant cosmic melon baller swooped down and firmly scraped out my entire life as I’ve ever known it in the name of change and growing up. I don’t like that cosmic melon baller.
But here’s a scary truth: I’ve stagnated.
I don’t know what I like to do anymore. And I don’t know why I’m so attached to physical things. I don’t like my career path, and I still struggle with anxiety and body image issues more than I’d like to at this point in my recovery.
But while I was packing everything up, I realized that above all else, I’m terrified to leave my past behind. THAT’S why I’ve stayed in Utah and THAT’S why I complacently lull the days away unconsciously. I’ve had several identities that have defined me up to this point, all of which I’ve outgrown. They’ve become my crutch. And while I know that I need to wake up, I’m scared to leave the warmness that is identity familiarity.
THAT’S why packing up my stuff was so unsettling. I’m leaving my hometown. My family. My friends that saw me at my worst. My coworkers that know my entire work history. I’m leaving every little iota of it behind in a way, and I’m fucking TERRIFIED.
I’m scared I won’t fit in in Seattle. I’m scared I won’t get a job or find friends, and I’m scared I will succumb to old anxiety and ruin the whole experience. I’m scared Mitch and I won’t get along because we’re all we’ve got now. I’m scared the cats will never forgive me for the 12-hour drive, and I’m even more scared that I won’t be able to figure out the public transit system.
All weekend, packing boxes and sweeping floors and dusting shelves, I felt this fear. And then I started Gala Darling’s Dare/Dream/Do course because, shit, a girl needs a little pick me up every now and then, aight? And in the first day, she drops this quote on me from Steve Pavlina:
“…admit the whole truth to yourself. Even if you don’t like what you see, and even if you feel powerless to change it…When you face unpleasant truths, you’ll often encounter strong internal resistance. Only by staring directly into these truths can you summon the strength to deal with them consciously. A simple rule of thumb is this: whatever you fear, you must eventually face.”
Well, Steve and Gala, I’m facing it. Half the bags are packed, and the house is listed. There’s no turning back. I’m staring down the anxiety, and I’m shaking off the past.
Seattle or bust, bitches.