I’ve moved before, and with moving comes a lot of feelings expected and unexpected. I’m a survivor of my feelings. I can feel them and move past them and keep right on putting things in boxes. This time though, something is different because packing up a life is different than packing up a house. I’m not moving my entire family to a new place and unpacking everything. When you get a divorce you must decide what will fit into a new life that you can’t even imagine yet. I can’t fathom what it will begin to look like when I have my children half the time. Because of this I can’t seem to finish a box or tote without a tear or at least a heartfelt sigh. Sorting through things no longer needed brings up memories of when those items were important to me, and this can be a bit overwhelming.
When you pack up a house, you carefully put your belongings wrapped in newspaper into boxes and label them. You do this because you have intentions of unpacking them in your new place. You might envision them already sitting on the shelf, counter, or coffee table. You are putting them in boxes to save for later, for another time and another place. You are packing with hopes and dreams of a better life.
When you pack up a life, you are carefully packing your hopes and dreams alongside the items and putting them to bed. You are labeling them in a different kind of way, but labeling them all the same. You do this for closure. You are deciding what is important, or necessary. You are swallowing your fears, guilt, and failures while you pack. And the biggest difference is when you get those boxes to a new location there are no guarantees at what you will find. Each box contains a different memory of its former residence. Each box contains a hope and dream that has hopefully morphed into something new and worthy. But there’s no way to know until you open them. Packing up a life is a daunting task that isn’t for the fainthearted. It’s a good thing I’m up for the challenge.