My excitement about next year has started to morph into anxiety. There is so much that I need to do to prepare. Foremost, I must reduce my possessions to only the essentials that can easily fit into two large duffel bags (is that wise or even possible?). Everything else will be sold or given away to friends or Goodwill. I feel that I haven’t accumulated that much since my last purge – in preparation for Peace Corps – but I still have so much stuff. Where did it all come from?
I’ve been a packrat since I was a child and I have a way of assigning emotional value to the most mundane of household objects. It is one of the reasons that my mother’s basement is full of crates of my childhood junk. I feel that I am better than I once was but I still have trouble parting with stuff.
Thankfully, since the beginning of the fall, I’ve cut back on my purchases – not only to save money but also to avoid accumulating anything else that I’d have to throw away next year.
In the last month, I have started to give away/recycle/trash some of my clothes and desk items, but I haven’t made a significant dent in any of it (don’t get me started on my six, unpacked boxes of kitchen items, wft?!).
It is not going to be fun. But it has to be done. I don’t want to saddle my mother with any more boxes of my things and it is not worth putting any of it in storage. So I have to decide what is irreplaceable or would be expensive or a hassle to replace.
The truly tricky thing is figuring out what I should keep to bring with me. I know that my lifestyle will be that of poor wannabe expat, but I am not sure exactly what I will be doing and where exactly I’ll be living. And I won't know for months.
As a side note, over the weekend, I received my mother's full buy-in regarding my scheme to live/work/study abroad. I don't know what I expected but she didn't blink an eye when I told her that I was very open to staying longer than a year -- and that it all depended on my professional prospects and if I found a husband (i.e., if I could get a visa). And she was not suprised when I said that I want to raise my kids abroad. I brought this point up again today to ensure that she understood the implications. She does and she supports me.
It is great to have a mother who listens and lets me make my own decisions. I am very thankful to have her. And I can’t wait to host her (and all my awesome cheerleading friends!) wherever I am next year and thereafter.