Cleaning Up, Giving Away

My husband and I are probably making Seattle our home base the next year or two. This means that’s where I’ll live, or spend as much of my time as possible if I’m a summer fellow in San Francisco or Boston, a Fulbrighter in Cairo, or working a dream gig in DC. In any of those last possible cases, he’ll be bopping over to where I am as often as I’m bopping to where he is. He got a fantastic offer, and the city has the classes and communities and jobs I’m interested in. It’s a bit a shift from what I planned–DC for a few years, or the Middle East–but the more I knead it in my brain the better an idea it sounds to live there full-time.

Since he got the job offer which is whisking us from the land of rain and snow to the land of rain and mist and mountains, we’ve been talking a lot about what moving cross-country would mean.

The stuff we own was a not insignificant factor in those discussions.

That’s messed up.

We kept talking about how nice it was that his new company would ship our stuff, how hard it would be to pack it all, and I realized: this isn’t how I want to live. I don’t want to be tied down by my stuff. I want to be able to make my life choices without wincing at the thought of the U-Hauls in my future.

I should be clear: none of our treasured wedding presents are “stuff.” “Stuff” consists of old clothes, coffee-table books I bought in the hope I would one day own a coffee table, and my acres of branded tote-bags.

I found some online inspiration and before I packed a single give-away box I made an appointment to have it all picked up tomorrow by the Vietnam Veterans of America who promise to pick up nearly anything from my house with about a day’s notice.

Most of what I packed in bags were clothes that don’t fit my body or my style (Lace? Bag. Size 16? Bag. Size 4? Bag.) Two of those I wanted to post here in case any Sun alums wanted them (as a Sun kid I have a collection of Sun-wear which I wear, but these two nerdy shirts just don’t fit):

Sun Labs, Europe T-Shirt

Glass Fish T-Shirt

I’m putting the bags out at 8am EST tomorrow, so comment quick if you want these.

We’ll be in Pittsburgh together through mid-April and then I’ll stick around here on my lonesome until after graduation. Everything is in flux since Matt hasn’t officially accepted the offer, but like the bags of stuff, that will get taken care of tomorrow.

Things change, but the important things stay the same.

Inspirational Quote:

“Inside my empty bottle I was constructing a lighthouse while all the others were making ships.”–Charles Simic

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