Wheel of Fortune
Right now, I should be packing. The movers are scheduled to arrive in less than 24 hours and my things remain hanging in the closet, folded in drawers, tucked away in kitchen cabinets. Much of this is due to the fact that I’ve scheduled myself to the hilt this past week, trying to make the most of my time here in the city with my friends. And I don’t regret that. And I do better with a deadline anyway–today is the day I need to get going and pack everything up, and it will get done. But it’s still a little bit overwhelming.
I started the packing process a few weeks ago, trying to organize things, get rid of things I no longer needed or wanted. It proved to be a much more emotionally-fraught process than I had anticipated. Moving is always a fraught process–it forces you to take stock of your life, your belongings in a way that nothing else does. You need to make decisions–what to keep, what to throw away, what to leave behind. We’ve all done it. But this time is different. This time it’s the separation of things–mine, his, ours–and facing the objects that we built our life with. It seemed that every drawer I opened or shelf I cleaned contained some new reminder of everything I’ve lost–the cork from the bottle of champagne we got the first night of our honeymoon, a stack of wedding invitations, letters we exchanged when we lived in different cities, ticket stubs from concerts on the waterfront.
What do you do with all the things that represent your memories, the memories of a life you loved but have lost? Do you keep them, stow them away in a box at the back of a closet somewhere to be dealt with the next time you move? Do you throw them in the trash? It’s a legitimate question. Some people have recommended getting rid of everything, starting fresh. But I’m not that kind of person. I’m the kind of person who has shoeboxes full of notes from friends written during high school English class, movie ticket stubs, every birthday card I’ve ever gotten. To me, these scraps of things that would mean nothing to any other person are the texture that make up a life. And to get rid of these things would mean disowning those experiences, in a way. And though it’s painful, I don’t want to disown everything that’s happened to me. So I took one of our wedding invitations, the stack of our letters, other little scraps of our life and tucked them into a shoebox with everything else I’ve kept this year–other wedding invitations, thank you cards, play programs. And I packed that shoebox into a bigger box, taped it up, and stacked it with the few others I’ve packed.
A couple of nights ago, a friend of mine came over to read my tarot cards. The cards said a lot of things I won’t bore you with, but one card I got was the wheel of fortune card. When I got that, my friend’s eyes lit up and she said it was one of the best cards to get because it represents the unexpected, all kinds of good adventures and future joy. And I don’t think I needed a tarot card to tell me that good things await me in Boston, but it was still nice to hear. It gives me something to look forward to. And while I also got a card that showed a person walking away, leaving everything behind, I know that what I choose to bring with me from this city, these years, will only make me stronger.
So I’m signing off from New York, but I’ll be updating from Boston soon. Have a good weekend, all!
*image via The Tarot Teaclub