Musings in the Dark: The Streamlining Process


The Streamlining Process

As my time in the States winds down, I’ve found myself thinking about a whole lot of things.  I’ve been packing for weeks now, narrowing down my necessary items to fit into four suitcases and six boxes.  Now for some people, that’s more than enough.  But for me, it has been a very enlightening experience, and that’s a double entendre for your ass.

I’ve lived in two places: the house I grew up in and the house I purchased.  Being a caregiver meant that I spent a great deal of time at home, and so I built my world around me.  It consisted mostly of books, books, and more books, as well as movies on top of movies.  I’m also a collector of snow globes and dolphins, and ended up with several hundred over the years.  I took up painting four years ago and LEGO building five years ago and added more to my little universe.  Each one of these hobbies is expensive and tangible, and each one is near and dear to my very nature.  I have dealt with my pain, grief, passion and emotional whirlwinds through these media, and so found it extremely difficult to part with them even for a short time. 

I’d already decided to take a box of books, a box of movies, and a box of LEGOs with me as part of my eventual homesickness therapy.  So I had to sort out what I wanted to take on the plane from what will be shipped later.  When I put my hands on my books to sort them out, I shed tears and had to step away.  Noob suggested that I go with my emotions in my selection process, and so after a day of reflection, I tackled the process again.  For the movies, I kept only the ones that generated an emotional response.  The books were a bit more difficult, but I was able to accomplish the task.

But the reality was simply that I couldn’t take everything.  What I had to focus on was the fact that I am going to build a new life in Asia and I have to leave remnants of my old life behind.  What is not going to happen is a failure to board the United Airlines 747 that is going to carry me across the Pacific in five weeks.  And that meant shedding as many layers as I had to.  So I gathered up my painting supplies and gave them all to a friend in need.  I gave a lot of my books to another friend, and donated half of my wardrobe to Goodwill—this includes shoes, mind you.  I gave my sister-in-law over 100 of my movies and my niece all but one of my handbags.  My brother got about 90% of my CDs, my house, and all my furniture and appliances.  Each day it got easier to rid myself of something. 

Basically, I have whittled my life down to six boxes and four suitcases.  I have some extra things that will be shipped later, as I don’t need them right now.  It won’t be much: winter coats and boots, my Stephen King novels, some research books, and my LEGOs.  That’s it.  That’s all I’m taking with me. 

Does it feel weird leaving everything behind, everything I’ve ever known?  Yes, but it also feels right.  Am I uncomfortable starting over at this point in my life with next to nothing?  Not at all.  With everything that I’ve gone through and all that I’ve accomplished, starting over doesn’t fill me with anything other than excitement.  I realized last week that I’ve accomplished all of the goals I set for myself save one, and that one is in progress.  I now know that all I have to do now is establish myself in this new world and live the life I once fantasized about.  It’s a relief to be free of one’s own strictures. 

Seen here:  Not me.  Not yet, anyway.

I’m not saying that I won’t ever have anything else to strive for, but for now, I don’t and that’s a great relief.  It’ll be nice just to live without worrying about personal due dates and deadlines and striving to be nothing more than a better educator and person.  It’ll be nice to take meals on the balcony (I’m going to be living in a high-rise, on the 9th floor) and be within an hour of the Pacific Ocean.  It will be interesting to see how my diet changes for the better and what my shopping habits will adjust to.  It will be interesting living life in a city with a population twice that of New York City, and doing it without a car.  Fortunately, my new job provides transportation to and from work.

Well, I’m done rambling for the night.  I’m sure I’ll have a lot more to say on this subject in the near future.  For now, T minus 40 days.


  1. What a good feeling it must be! It's great that you're taking your time to do it in a really careful way.

    I found myself guessing where you're going lol But don't tell us now, I'll wait :) (even though I already have a couple of cities in mind)

  2. Hey Myra!

    I'm keeping that under wraps for now. However, it shouldn't be difficult to figure out. God completely blessed me with a dream job and I'd be a zip dang fool not to take it.

  3. Please take me with you.

    I know from first hand experience about letting stuff go that are near and dear to your heart. I had a termite invasion earlier this year. That was a disaster. The things I had to throw away. It took me a few days to mentally prepare my mind for the process. So sad.

  4. Shana:

    Termites? Now, see...that would have just pissed me clean the fuck off! TERMITES???


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