I’m about to move to my seventh address in the last five years. I wish there were a sexy reason for it, like witness protection or tax evasion. Unfortunately, I’m afraid it’s just straight up instability. And I’m so over it.
It’s time to get grounded! I’m ready for the dust to settle.
This five-year period of transience has been worth the price, I must say. It all started because I wanted a different life (be careful what you wish for). Back in 2009, I suggested to my now ex-partner that we shake things up and move to a different state. It didn’t take much convincing (my suggestion was his home state). So off we went to Los Angeles.
After a year in our first apartment we moved again, mainly to gain a parking space (welcome to the big city). Then came the “divorce,” so off I went to a friend’s extra bedroom. That arrangement worked until it didn’t, so off I went to yet another friend’s extra bedroom, which worked until it REALLY didn’t. Just then, so happens, another friend found a big beautiful rental home and needed a roommate. Perfect timing being what it is, I moved again (where I’m at now) into a house that’s now up for sale. So I’m out scouting for my next landing spot. That’ll be address #7 since 2008.
Which is ridiculous. I’m 50-years old, for God’s sake.
As absurd as all this upheaval has been, there’s been a silver lining. Moving forces me to make choices about what’s going with me and what’s being abandoned. It’s the perfect time to ask myself, do I need this thing? How long have I gone without thinking about this thing? A year? What makes me think I’ll need this thing a year from now? Or ever?
Needless to say, if something has managed to escape the trash heap after six moves, it must be pretty important to me.
Now I’m down to such things as my late-father’s stuff, which I keep, I guess, because I feel guilting thinking about getting rid of it. Like that would be disrespectful. For example, I have some great photographs of him playing the guitar. I’ll always have fond memories of him playing guitar. So why am I lugging around this acoustic guitar of his from one address to another?
I kept if for sentimental reasons, but also because I thought it might be worth some money. So I decided to take it to the premier used guitar shop in LA (and probably the world) to see what it was worth. Turns out it wasn’t constructed all that well. Maybe a few notches above a ukulele stamped with the word “Ole!” Turns out pop’s guitar was worth maybe $50 on the open market. They offered me $20. So I snapped one last picture of pop’s guitar, took the $20, and went and had a nice lunch.
If you’ve never experienced the exhilaration of elimination, you should really try. I swear, the more things I dispose of, the happier I get. It’s like severing an anchor.
Imagine having that mentality and moving six times in five years. A period when discretionary income was a laughable concept, so I purchased almost nothing but necessities. And every time I moved, I still threw stuff out.
I’ve pared down my belongings to what can fit into a studio apartment. Preferably a large studio apartment to accommodate a king-sized bed, a couch and a dining table.
If the new economy has taught me anything it’s to recognize what’s really important and what’s not. I need the basics (food, toilet, shower, roof, oxygen) plus a few luxuries like running shoes, an IPod and an internet connection. Beyond that, I think I could survive for weeks, maybe years, with not much more.
A few years ago an arsonist set fire to the storage room at the building where I used to live. It was where we stored stuff we rarely used, if ever. So when it was demolished, we had to wrack our brains to recall what all was in it.
The worst loss was my grandparents’ Christmas ornaments, some of which were more than a hundred years old. And the ornaments given to us by my stepfather, who has a fondness for well-crafted Christmas trinkets. Those were all very sad losses.
Beyond that, I’m not really sure what else was lost (wait… a bowling ball…an ice chest). Believe me, there was tons of crap in that storage locker. I just can’t recall what.
Funny, that locker was right next to the garbage dumpsters. Turns out, there wasn’t much difference between the contents of either.
(To be continued…)