Sunday, May 23, 2010

Basement Strata

I am a more serious packrat than I remembered. Truthfully, I have been long casting a blind eye toward the towering piles of boxes in my basement. I found boxes full of stuff from grad school. High school!

It has been like revisiting my life, layer by layer. Prom pictures...reply cards to our wedding...letters from college friends and the ghosts of boyfriends past alike. (Letters! Can you imagine recent college grads writing each other LETTERS today?!).

Truthfully, I kind of wanted to save the letters, but a) I am tryong to de-packrat, b) it seemed sort of wrong to keep letters from old boyfriends (no matter how hilarious), and c) some of them referenced conduct that I wouldn't want my daughter reading about (yes, I am a "do as I say, not as I did" parent. Or maybe, "don't ask, don't tell.". Or, just utterly into revisionist history, or all of the above.). It was fun to go through the strata. Now that I am in the harbor of my life, with amazing baby and husband, it was like walking down the corrider of other lives that Might Have Been. Some of the letters were truly fabulous. There was a hand-drawn non-Valentine's Day card from one guy that was cut into puzzle pieces, which is exactly the kind of quirky surprise that I still enjoy today. (He used to be a funky and alternative Ph.D candidate, but he turned up for one of our last dates with really bad shoes, and that was the end of it. He no longer seemed cool or alternative, which was frankly the only attraction. And no, that is not the only guy I rejected based largely on footwear. I still maintain that shoes say a lot about a guy, and I'm sticking to that!). There was a very funny letter from a college boyfriend that asked, between the lines, whether there was any sort of future for our relationship shortly after college-and I know that I missed that question when I originally got the letter, but it's there plain as day (but,nope, even if I'd seen it then, there wasn't-loved hanging out with him, but our entire relationship was based on our mutual collection of partying friends, his friends who were dating my friends...and partying...although, he was hysterical, and I should really see if I can find him on We stayed in touch for a few years, until he moved. I'm not always so good at keeping in touch..). There were pictures, too...ah, the memories, and that '80's hair!!! Hilarious.

It all reinforced that I have ended up in exactly the right place. I am where I am supposed to be, and so content. I have 15 years of history with T., and as I dig back through the strata of our lives, it feels rich and heavy and meaningful to me. We have created such a good life together, and no one else could ever compare. He is my rock, my partner in adventure, my universe. I am so, so blessed.

Now if this cleaning-out phase would just hurry up and be over. As much fun as bits and pieces of it have been, it mostly sucks. I found a favorite sweater yesterday, and moths had eaten it. Moths! Blech. I hate cleaning and sorting and planning and thinking, and oh yeah, endings. I wish I could fast-forward through this Ending phase to our new Beginning in the new city. I wish I could wave my magic wand, and have everything neatly sorted and organized and DONE.

We had a family going away dinner last night, and someone asked if I'm nervous, etc. She kept asking, in fact, all different ways. I'm not, and that's how I know that this is the right decision for us. I think people expect me to be apprehensive. Honestly, I'm not. Not even a little. I am still beyond thrilled about all of this (except, I wish I'd cleaned everything out about a decade ago). The only thing that is giving me anxiety is the fact that the movers come three weeks from tomorrow, and I have SO much left to do. I am FREAKING out about that. Of course, no one offered to help when I said that, which bummed me out. I hate having to ask for help, but I've had to. I've been begging peope to come sit with the baby so I can clean things out. I am tapping out all of my resources, though. I think I'm going to run out of people who are willing to help, before I run out of needing help, and that sucks.

And, I'm suddenly down to only two more weeks of work. I did my last few "official" acts on Friday. I don't have much else scheduled now, other than cleaning out my office and handing over files. I'm not really sad. I will miss people, and I will miss certain functions, but I've had a good run, and it's time to move on. I got hung up on Friday on something, and ended up waiting around for forever. I was working with a colleague from another entity, who has become a good friend over the years. It was one of the things I'll miss--shooting the breeze about everything and nothing while waiting around on something that's kind of a big deal, but feels like no big deal because you do it day in, day out. I will miss that. Still, it was perfect that I got to do one of my last official acts with him, because he's been there for me professionally through thick and thin. Together, we've seen a lot of shot go down, and in this job, that creates the kinds of bonds that you don't often see. I'm sure I'll find that kind of camraderie in my new job, too, given the type of work that I'll be doing, but I'm going to miss relationships like this one. I hope old friends like him will come and visit T and I when we move.

Three weeks. THREE WEEKS!


Jamie said...

Can we completely rewrite our history? Because I'll totally sign up for that!

It is a bittersweet place to be - so much you'll miss but so much to look forward to. But I can feel the excitement in your writing. Now if you can only get all your chores done!

Heather said...

Good luck with finishing the rest of the packing. I know what you mean about being ready. When its time, it's time.

Rebeccah said...

Man oh man, this takes me back to the time when I was leaving a biggish small town to move to NYC. Boxes and boxes and boxes o' stuff and oh those memories! I still have 6 boxes that I couldn't part with from that move that have somehow moved from west coast to east coast and back again, even though I know they really contain a lot of stuff that should be tossed ... Good luck on the move! It's such a stressful time, but you have so much to look forward to and you sound so excited : )