Moving is drudgery.
It involves lots of sorting things into piles mentally labeled ‘keep’ and ‘toss’. It involves going up too many flights of stairs since Boyfriend picked an apartment on the second level. It involves cursing under your breath at off brand garbage bags that decide that ‘on the stairs’ would be the perfect place to rip in two, scattering your belongings (or the ones you were giving away to Boyfriend, at least) onto the landing below.
That aside, there is a great freedom that comes with moving, especially when moving to another country. Because I can’t begin to take all of these belonging with me, giving them away is no pain. You liked that perfume? That dress? Those shoes? They’re yours. What good will they be to me for two years?
This has also accompanied a great deal of throwing away (my eco-friendly rating is down the tubes…) but that has an odd freedom with it, too. These possessions, the ones I brought to Athens because they were the things I couldn’t stand to be without in my first adult apartment, were now being tossed because I’d outgrown them. I don’t need that statuette anymore, or that cute pair of headphones. My freshman English notebook can be safely thrown away (though, I’ve kept the more interesting classes’ notes still). All the old nail polish bottles, lotions, shampoos and fancy sprays that I was saving for a special occasion will go bad in two years, so they’re gone now. I should have used them when I had the chance.
It’s nice feeling like I am more than the sum of my things. Special things have still been packed away carefully, like years of journals or sentimental pictures, but most of my apartment lays bare, indentions in the carpet from two years of heavy furniture, reminding me that these things use to feel like home.
Soon, I’ll have a home again. It’ll be my first adult apartment in Africa, and I’ll stock the shelves with the things I brought that I just couldn’t live without. Makes me wonder what I’ll be throwing away in a mere 30 months.