“The hardest part of the packing is done,” I told my mom two days ago, sagging onto the couch just before supper, “I’ve sorted through which books I’m bringing and which ones I’m leaving behind.”
That, it seems, is the central motif of my cross-country move. What am I taking? And what do I have to leave behind?
If you know me at all, you aren’t surprised to hear that books have been especially painful.
Every one of them is a friend with so many memories attached: when I read this, who I shared it with, what I spilled on it, how I was feeling, where I bought it. Books are my comfort blanket, my escape when life gets hard or stressful. If I’m having a down day, I’ll pick up one of my favourites and lose myself within the pages only to come out the other side an hour (at least!) later feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
But when everything I’m taking with me has to fit in the back of my car, there’s not room for an entire bookshelf.
It turned out that even when I thought I’d narrowed my book choices down to a reasonable number, even when I’d left all the ones I also have ebooks for, even when I pulled out the “to-reads I might actually not ever read,” I still had too many to pack. My stack has since been winnowed down again to a mere 14 favourites that I cannot do without.
(I find myself seriously identifying with Meggie at the beginning of Inkheart, in which she has to do exactly what I just did.)
And, of course, books are only one aspect. Over the last week I have sorted through every single piece of my life from clothing to notebooks to hand lotions to tech to nail polish. I have a lot of nail polish, and not all of it fits in my special nail polish tin. Oops. I guess that’s another goodbye.
It’s funny, isn’t it, how we can become so attached to these mundane material possessions? I haven’t even left yet, and I feel oddly wistful at having to say goodbye to my extra tea mugs.
Maybe it’s easier to think sadly about the items I leave behind than all the friends that aren’t coming with me. Because when everything I’m taking with me has to fit in the back of my car, there’s not room for a bunch of suitcases for people to hide in!
Thank goodness for Skype, and Facebook and Twitter, and email, and blogs, and all the rest. Hopefully with all this technology at our fingertips, I will have no trouble keeping touch with everyone back in Edmonton. (This is why I love the internet and the age we live in: Distance is all relative!)
Today, it turns out, is an introspective day. Tomorrow will be more exciting. The packing will be finished, the car will already be loaded, and I’ll be hitting the road with my dad at my side and the Doobie Brother’s China Grove blaring through the speakers.
(Don’t ask me why China Grove is my dad’s must-have starting-a-roadtrip song. I have no idea. But there we are.)
Please feel welcome to follow along as I blog about the week-long drive across the country and, after I arrive, my adventures in settling in and starting the Dalhousie MBA program.
And of course, feel free to message me or leave comments here so that I don’t actually have to feel like I’ve left everyone so very far behind after all. (Isn’t the internet wonderful!)