Thursday, December 21, 2006

Leaving the Nest

All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy;
for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves;
we must die to one life before we can enter another.
Anatole France

Today was moving day at the ol'Offasty. So it was with XMas party hang overs that Suzanne and I began to trade offices. I tend to fill up every space I inhabit, packing it to the brim with knick knacks, pictures, doo dads and bits-n-pieces o' junk.

Suzanne keeps a tidy office with everything in its place and clean surfaces a plenty. We knew the move was going to be tough but oh my, so much crap to sort through!

He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.
Harold Wilson

Moving day has never been much fun for me. Being a sentimental old sop who carries around too much junk, I get wrapped up in the emotional meaning of the move and find it impossible to break apart a space that once held so much meaning for me.

Example: "Oh, this plastic toy cat, I remember when Kelly put this thingamagig on top of my birthday cake that one time, sigh, oh the memories!"

And just what on earth am I supposed to do with this cat now? Throw it away? NO! Too wasteful, I could need it someday?! So I put it in a box and put off trying to find a place for it until later, when it ends up under my bed.

The man who looks for security, even in the mind, is like a man who would chop off his limbs in order to have artificial ones which will give him no pain or trouble.
Henry Miller

I am not even sure how it is that I manage to accumulate so much crap. I think it is one of those things where lots of crap begets MORE crap! I am just one of those junk-loving ladies that people give things to.

Example: "That pretty hat in my attic that I don't know what to do with ...the one with the floppy brim, I think I'll give it to Eva! She'll find something creative to do with it!"

If you're in a bad situation, don't worry it'll change. If you're in a good situation, don't worry it'll change.
John A. Simone, Sr.

This is not in ANY way to diss junk and the people who give it to me. I love ALL my junk! So much so that I clutter up every single space I occupy with more junk. There are dried orchids from a year ago (sentimental value), a Starbucks lollipop that Abbie gave me when I was sad once, postcards from all over the world, ancient Valentines, drawings by kids, Barbie legs, a fur wrap, a body leotard with a tiger tail, and piles of paper clips.

They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom. Confucius

Once Andrea looked around my office and said smugly, "You're a nester, aren't you?" So true. Every nest I move in to gets decorated with the bright shiny objects that strike my fancy.

And that makes moving so much harder. Because the bright shiny objects take on a life of their own. The person who gave it to you becomes somehow connected to the stuff and it is hard to throw the person/old sticky note in the trash.

It is never too late to become what you might have been.
George Eliot

Big emotional moves like this remind me of the other painful moves in my life. It doesn't help that my small family has been moving almost yearly for as far back as I can remember. We left Cherry Valley when I was 3 yrs old for Manhattan. Left the Big Apple for Vermont when I was 7 yrs old. And moved from apartment to apartment in both the city and the country. Flying from nest to nest like a frenetic family of hummingbirds.

Some of my earliest memories are packing up my things into boxes. Throwing things out and agonizing over what could come to my new home (nest). I envy people who grew up in one home. I can't even begin to imagine what this would be like. Would I be less of a junk collector if my childhood had been more stable?

The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.Flora Whittemore

One of my hardest moves was leaving Indiana when I was 16 yrs old. I was moving to Massachusetts to go to college and I had a gaggle of close friends that I was loathe to leave. After all my bits of junk were packed away and shipped, my friends came with me to the airport. It was so hard to say goodbye to them that I cried and cried on the plane, like a little baby.

It is almost as though I knew deep down that, as time went on, I would lose touch with my friends and we would replace each other with new faces and new rooms full of junk. And the sad thing is, we did. I couldn't tell you what those people are doing today. But I still have notes they wrote me because I don't have the guts to throw these artifacts away.

The key to change... is to let go of fear. Rosanne Cash

Worse still was graduating and leaving college four years later. The sucky thing about college is that you have to set up your room every year and then break it all down and move it back home again. Talk about massive pain for someone like me who hates to move (even though I should be really damn good at it by now).

But the final move was more painful than I thought possible. I was 19 yrs old when I graduated and I had come of age around these people and places. The last months had been insanely busy with finishing my dissertation, exams, and tying up loose ends. Then came graduation and parties and plans and a date book packed full of shit.

After the whirlwind passed by, I still had to pull an all nighter to frantically pack up my room full o' junk while my freshmen boy toy lay asleep in bed.

The weight of this change finally sunk in and I felt terrified and alone. But excited too, not sure what this change would bring and how the hell I was going to fit all this crap into my mothers car.

I moved to California months later and embarked on a strange and interesting second act. Who knew that 10 years later I would b
e back in Vermont and mourning a big move out of the Flynn.

We change, whether we like it or not Ralph Waldo Emerson

Leaving my killer window office with a view of Main St was painful to say the least. But watching Suzanne re-organize the space to fit her better (less junk, more open space, good changes!) was exciting too. And as I get ready for the final move which comes in early January, I am glad I did the hard part and moved the junk.

After all, it isn't the view and the office brimming with junk that I will miss, it is the smiling face of Suzanne peering around my office door every morning and asking me how I am doing. And these memories will stick with me longer than all the piles of junk which will not fit into my junk-filled (nest) home.

What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.Pericles


la-la-lani said...

Suzanne got the glam mirror AND the Barbie-leg Bamboo? I am absolutely green with envy! (Might the polka-dot lamp be available?)

- Lani

Eva the Deadbeat said...

We will have to sort around for something for you. The bamboo was inherited from Lesh and the Barbie legs were in a cake Kelly made me before she left - their merge seemed providential somehow.

And that fabuloud dolphin/turtle mirror was sitting around outside my office for months until one day I co-opted it - it holds many fond memories of late night Offasty make-up applications, sigh. NOT ALLOWED TO GET SOPPY YET!

The polka dot lamp is going back home where it came from but we will find you something choice. Care to inherit the body leotard tiger tail suit that Lisa gave to me when she left? Or the Pat Benatar record that Aimee left me in her will?

Yes, it is only fitting that you should inherit, considering how much was handed down to me by other Flynn departees. A long line of lovely ladies with much cool stuff to pass along...

Q_Monroe said...

another great post! i'm going to miss you so much too -- i'd rather have my old cubicle back and have you still around. but i know you've got bigger and better things to look forward to.

and lani -- hands off my bamboo and my mirror. i'm pretty sure i could take you, despite what you may think!

Eva the Deadbeat said...

hee hee, girls, girls, will i have to break up the next Offasty cat fight? man, i loved that - footage looks good too!

i will miss you too Miss Q. Thank god for IM! sigh...too soon to get weepy!!