Expat

Making boxes

We’re now two weeks before D-Day and things are becoming hectic as we are seriously preparing for the big move. Boxes are piling up in our living room – many more boxes than we had planned to fill -, furniture is being sold or given away, clothes are being sorted out. I don’t know about you but I’ve always felt a bit strange when moving to a new house. As if my whole life was upgrading and it was time to let go of certain things that belong only to the past. But in our situation, the feeling is even more dramatic as the path is life-changing.

Making boxesThe other day, I made a few boxes with our photo albums – who knew modern people still had some of those – and little objects that we have collected over the years. Having only a limited amount of things that can be stored for us, for each thing we must think: Is it valuable to me? Will I be happy to find this again in a couple of years? Will I still care? And that’s how a whole life-evaluation starts: what is important, what is not, what is bound to change, what we must leave behind. Sometimes it’s frustrating: it’s impossible for me to take all my dictionaries and language methods with me, and it’s impossible for Alex to pack his drawing books he bought from Japan. At others it’s liberating: Ok, so I can’t pack all my knitting stuff with me. I guess I’ll never be able to finish that sweater and perhaps that’s fine after all…

This letting-go of things takes also place at another level, as we sort out past events and emotions of our lives. As every box is made, as every little item is evaluated, our life is being cleared up: maybe that anger I’ve been feeling isn’t useful anymore. I definitely won’t be happy to see it again in a couple of years. Perhaps this frustration isn’t really valuable. And this guilt here is definitely too heavy to hold in our suitcase.

I know we’ll still take some unimportant things with us, material or not, because it’s not always possible to see clearly what is essential and what is not. But along the way, for sure, we will know. And we won’t have any other choice than to let go.

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