I was on the phone with my boyfriend last night and he dangled a possible solution to a lot of my moving stress: Vietnam Veterans of America, the nonprofit organization that will come pick up your stuff and find good home for it. He's used them and so did my mom and apparently they are very efficient. For a little while I got very excited: no more books to lug all over New York City! A place to dump my pots and pans and random bits of furniture. It would save me so many trips. A bit of the moving anxiety I've been holding onto day and night and in my dreams vanished. And then a little while later, he said: "I have bad news. Vietnam Vets doesn't pick up in your zip code."
And just like that, the easy as pie solution wasn't there anymore. That seems like a perfect metaphor for life. The no work solution is not a solution. It's not that life is a Sissyphean journey, necessarily, but that when something seems too simple, too easy, it usually is. There may be free lunches, but there's no free life (at least, not for me). Someone else isn't going to magically swoop in and solve your problems. I felt like the joke was on me, but it's not a joke, it's just what I'm dealing with right now with work and finances and moving: sitting down (or in the case of moving, packing and taping and tossing) and doing the work. It's pretty simple, and yet, if you're like me, you're always looking for something even more simple. Someone else to shunt the work on. A way to escape. This move is the ultimate non-escape. It's about facing the last 13 years head on, every nook and cranny, every piece of paper, receipt, book, magazine, article of clothing. Every single thing I've ever brought into my home must now go out. It's daunting and challenging and is forcing me every day to let go more and more, to realize that nothing, not even my high school diploma or favorite books or favorite clothes is worth more than time and energy and health and love. I'm starting to envision a time when maybe I'll move and let it all go.. Books with my name on them, and books without. None of them make me me. They're just things. Yes, I love them, yes I would be sad without my favorite clothes or shoes, but all I really need is my man and my glasses, keys, iPhone and laptop. Everything else is nice, but not necessary. I don't really believe that, yet, but I hope to. Someday. When I'm a better version of me. I'm getting there, trash bag by trash bag, box by box. The adult way, not the fake too easy way. (That's not to knock those who I'm jealous of: those whose zip codes allow for Vietnam Vets donations, just to say that this year is all about life lessons, and this was mine.)