This move presents a singular and quite valuable opportunity: to start completely new and unencumbered by years of accumulated stuff. I get to choose every single thing that will be in my new life now, a freedom that is exhilarating and makes me keep breaking out in smiles at odd moments (not that my family isn’t used to that; I have far too many inside jokes with myself).
A welcome change from the past few days, these smirks have replaced a furrowed brow and clenched jaw holding back tears. The reality and finality of an empty bedroom and a full car hit me. However, parting with my house and my stuff did not truly constitute parting with my home; here George Carlin was wrong. I may be passing through Ohio, but with my parents in the front seat, I have yet to fully leave home. Part of home did stay back in New Hampshire, though, and it nearly killed me. For days leading up to yesterday, I was dreading the inevitable goodbye to my dogs. Even though I’ll see them in about six months when I return for Christmas, that brings me no comfort because I know they won’t be my dogs anymore. It won’t be my home; I’ll just be a visitor. I won’t try to describe the sentiment because any pet owner either has experienced or can easily imagine why I find my face mysteriously wet whenever Hannah and Jason come to mind. I try not to think that for the foreseeable future I will be dogless, that the moisture on my face will be from tears instead of puppy kisses.
What does dry my tears is knowing that I’m headed (at twenty miles an hour over the speed limit, ahem) towards a place that already feels like home. I don’t feel lost or floating, or even in transition. In two days’ time, I will be living in a house I’ve never laid eyes on, sharing space with a person I’ve never met and to whom I’ve spoken only once, bringing with me nothing but my clothes, a Swarovsky crystal squirrel, and my laptop (okay, so I snuck in all my cooking supplies; they seemed way more vital to my happiness than anything else). Yet somehow, that doesn’t scare me. Me, with all my neuroses and anxiety and need of familiarity! It excites me. Just as I am free to choose my stuff, I am free to make a new home for myself (and I will try to make sure the stuff I fill it with isn’t junk!).