Boxes, tea sets, etc
Hi, my love.
Writing to you from a sea of boxes.
Moving, aka my least favorite thing to do in the universe.
(But I’m doing it!)
Across the country this time. Exhausting and exciting. I examine the boxes, type some words to you, take a break to escape-watch Inventing Anna (it is so harrowing?! and so delicious?!), examine more boxes.
Our whole life in those boxes. Packed when the world fell apart / we left our dream apartment / looked at the sky and thought maybe there was a possibility we’d get out of this thing alive.
We made it out alive! And now I have to look at boxes.
The boxes house treasures? And the boxes house nonsense.
I know this, because like the good former EA / current walking definition of ADHD who needs coping strategies that I am I have alarmingly detailed notes on each box. The notes live in a Google Sheet and are so absolutely deranged that I can type in the most minute of things and locate it.
(Take that, ADHD!)
So now it’s a process of uncovering those notes and deciding what qualifies to be moved in two phases:
We drive our car, Iris, across the country in six days (!?). Iris is a cutie little Prius C with a surprisingly spacious trunk, but she is still a compact. Her surprisingly spacious trunk is for precious fragile treasures, more on that later.
Whenever we can afford it (which, with inflation, who KNOWS when that’ll be?!) a truck will go across the country with the rest of it.
For now I uncover notes.
Which would be going fine, if I were a well adjusted human who knew how to make a decision and/or a human who could even remotely assess what’s essential.
But I am not a well adjusted human who knows how to make a decision and/or a human who can even remotely assess what’s essential. I’m the gal who tortured herself before moving to Amsterdam and decided, in the end, to pack a suitcase full of all purpose flour and baking dishes instead of clothes.
So I turn to Beyoncé (how does someone make a new album so perfect?!), and smarter people like my best friend Dylan (who by now I hope you feel is your best friend, by proxy) to help me through it.
Dylan brings exactly the combination of no nonsense and absolute hilarity that I need to get to work. After much laughter and deserved teasing of me we finally create a hybrid of my extra-dextra Google sheets and Dylan/José’s input. Agree that, in order to go in Iris, a box has to gain all three of our approvals. Like so.
Here is an example of three boxes that made the Iris cut. Peep the “contents” cells to observe the level of insanity your girl is dealing with.
(We made it out alive! And now I have to look at boxes.)
(And decide what goes in them.)
In fairness, these boxes have been sitting unopened / in my parent’s attic for two and half years so I’m a little rusty on their contents. They are hastily packed vestiges of beauty and also the most painful moments of my life. Opening each is therefore a delightful grab bag choose your adventure that could bring joy, tears, revulsion.
Some boxes I open and feel absolute exhilaration. There, under many layers of newspaper, is the cherry red Tsuki Usagi enamel kettle I bought with Jacob in Tokyo on my first ever headlining Japan tour. I remember the absolute soul exploding joy of finding it, topped only by the near happiness meltdown of finding 6 absolutely perfect accompanying tea/coffee cups. I had a few months entertaining with that set before the world fell apart and it all went into box #10.
Some boxes I open and feel confusion. I realize that perhaps, including my red enamel set, the antique tea set sold to me by British grandmother Margaret in London and my plethora of tea cups, I don’t need 7 more ceramic tea cups from Japan. I put them aside and consider texting a friend to see if they’d like them.
And some boxes I open and feel sadness, conflict, detritus. Things I am holding on to for the wrong reasons.
These boxes and their contents are easy to part with. I barely register feeling as I bring them either to the dump or to Goodwill. I put a friendly NYC note on them to let their new owner know we’re kosher and I’m not sneakily giving them bed bugs.
And I move on, often surprised that the gal who has four (!?) tea sets is parting so quickly with something.
Maybe it’s the distance of 3 years living without them and barely noticing.
Maybe it’s the healing work I’ve done during those years, often with you at my side.
Or maybe it’s just making space for the future.
(which we deserve)
(because we made it out alive!)
We are alive, my love, and now I’m ready to get to living. Ready to make my friend Miriam challah and sit at our big beautiful table laughing until 2 am. Ready to put on a Joni Mitchell record and take a deep breath.
Ready to arrive into Pasadena with intention and a collection of things I mean to arrive with.
I look over the sea of boxes, take a deep breath and trust they’ll sail us into Pasadena, right on time.
More next week.
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