Thursday, February 4, 2010
Today is the three week mark. Three weeks from now I'll be flying on a one way ticket to Seattle. I have 21 days left to do what I want to do. 21 days to cook dinner with my father, to laugh at stupid television shows with my brothers, to discuss quirky historical facts with my mother. 21 days to spend as much time as possible with my soul-sister. Seriously. The universe sent me to Oklahoma just to cross paths with her. Knowing her has made me a better person. I'm so lucky to have met her.

I was looking at the various states of unpack my apartment is in right now. There are some boxes sitting open, most of their contents out on book shelves, some of them have even been topped off with other items. A good deal of boxes are still packed, unopened, tape undisturbed. A very few are from the move from the house I grew up in, back in Arizona. Those boxes have been taped up for five years.

When the house burned down, we started over with only the clothes on our backs. Literally. We kept a few things, but thirteen years later they still smell vaguely of smoke. From both a material and emotional perspective, we got to start over entirely new. We had everything taken away from us, but we got to choose what we built our lives up with. Furniture, clothing, toys, books, movies, bed sheets, socks. Everything was new, and everything new was chosen; controlled. It was the best way to turn a tragedy we had no way of preventing, into something positive.

Two years ago we lost everything again. This time to financial ruin. It had been a long, downward spiral, but we saw the terrible end coming, and decided to get out while the gettin' was good. We did a sort of materialistic triage. Suddenly the eleven years of things we had built back up had to be prioritized. Did we really need those sentimental trinkets? Those bookcases full of books? How often do we play those board games? Use our special occasion dishes? With the move halfway across the country we were forced to fit our lives into one moving truck. Which was more important - the couch or the piano? The piano bench or three more boxes? It was all about what we needed, not what we wanted.

This upcoming move is almost exactly the opposite. Sure, I need clothes. But that's pretty much the only necessity. Over the next three weeks I have to choose what I want to take with me. Which books do I want to take with me? Which guitars? Which movies? Which furniture? I am not being forced to take anything with me. Not even clothes. Though, with my history of upper respiratory infections, I should probably not be a nudist in the Northwest.

No, with this move, starting over for the third time, I'm completely in control. I'm not backed into a corner, or thrust into a new situation unwillingly. I decided to drastically change my living situation. It's completely voluntary, and that control is so very liberating.

What might turn out to be the nicest part is all of the stuff I can choose not to take with me. I recently read a terribly depressing article about mistakes your brain makes when it comes to money. One of the things listed was the Disposition Effect. Basically the 'gatherer' portion of our hunter/gatherer instinct. Thanks technology, for advancing faster than we can reproduce and let our brains and society evolve! For me, this move means I can get rid of a bunch of things I don't actually need. I did a lot of that with the Phoenix-Tulsa move, but I can do even more now. Granted, I'll probably end up leaving a couple (i.e. - dozen) boxes with my parents for now, with the furniture I'm not taking with me, but I also know I can get rid of some things. Like that pair of size 10 jeans I kept around as my thinspiration. They're not ever going to fit me. I'm genetically predestined to be a big girl, and I like food. 10 is just never going to happen. But I'm okay with that now (thanks for finding me sexually appealing, Darling!). Actually come to think of it, I can probably just give him those pants. He likes wearing girl pants. I consider it an endearing quirk. Really, what I need to do is clean out all of the items that bog down my thinking process, as well as occupy my residence. It will be nice to unload some of my mental clutter. I'm starting a new life, I might as well try to go into it with a clean mental slate.

I, of all people, can testify that you don't usually get an opportunity to change your life because you want to. It's usually not a pleasant situation. It's usually something as tragic and dreadful as the first two pressings of my life's reset button. Months, years ago even, when I pictured where I would be in two, five, or ten years, it was not "2,000 miles away from my immediate family and closest friends." But I can't deny myself an opportunity like this. I would regret it for the rest of my life. I'm taking a year off to write, so why not go for the whole shebang? Why not throw in risking everything for love? He isn't perfect, but he's perfect for me. What we have is pretty rare, and I can't walk away from that. It may seem like a crazy thing to do, but the one thing I know, is that even if everything falls apart spectacularly, I won't regret it. So far the few things in my life I regret are the things I didn't do. And honestly, I don't think I have anything to worry about. To be where we are today with the bumpy history we have, is proof that we can tackle anything that comes our way.

I think I'm going to blog for the next twenty days. It'll be good for me. Therapeutic and motivational. And it'll give me a nice, meaty base for this new blog.


Sara said...

At least you have us of the extended family persuasion in between. And good choice getting rid of the size 10 jeans. If/when you lose weight, you want to reward yourself with new stuff for the new you.

BTW, if you set up more permanent roots in Seattle, I have to come visit. I've wanted to see Seattle for a long time now. I've heard it's gorgeous! And I need at some point to visit Coffee Mecca.

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During this course of study, you will come to learn much about the strange eating, sleeping and mating habits of the Instrospective Lori under stress. We will observe as she moves halfway across the country to start a life with her own Captain Wentworth, takes a year off of work to pursue a writing career, and incessantly references Jane Austen.
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