packing up the future and discarding the past
When Andy and I moved into our tiny apartment, we amassed a great deal of (mostly free) second hand furniture and brought out most of our wedding gifts right away. We were idealists with big ideas of hospitality and organization and a full, warm loving home.
Two years later, we’ve had lots and lots of hospitality, we’re very organized, and I’d like to think our home is loving, but four walls sure do put a cold, hard boundary on fullness and warmth. Our extensive furniture collection has been wonderful in accommodating all of our guests. The pretty dishes are so pleasant to pull out for suppers. But, when there are no guests… we are tripping over furniture and living in mortal fear of stone 5-quart bakers crashing down upon our heads from precarious shelving.
So, we have started to store and discard. Our table was covered in my favorite dishes to be packed up. Our foyer is full of huge cardboard boxes housing jars, decorations, books, and more.
But then, somewhere in the pile of old clothes to be discarded I found old red sweatshirt in the thrift-store pile that I was wearing one particularly special night for Andy and I. I began to flip through old pictures and the sweatshirt was popping out from many, many of my favorite photos.
Then I realized that we’re doing two things that are emotionally difficult. The first is beginning the long task of packing up our “non-useful” things for an indeterminate, and alternately longed for and terrifying date in the future when we will move. The second is packing and getting rid of the old things, things that have a lot of memories attached.
It makes me feel so homeless, floating in this dorm-style existence with good things reserved for the future and familiar things relegated to the past but nothing much special for right now, scraping through this period of life. It’s more an emotion than a reality, of course, as my home is still full of beautiful and comfortable things. But after two years, the newness of having our own life and home has worn off and we are both beginning to long for settledness – a place to actually build a physical future – and that may be very far off.