Looking at my blog statistics one of the most popular posts was when I posted pictures of my then new apartment. I moved in August and have yet to post an update with my new ‘digs’. Here is a panorama of the first floor taken when it was in an unusually clean state before Halloween.
The long search and application process has finally come to an end, and I now have the keys to my new apartment in hand! The apartment is completely empty, no furnishings, not even a shower curtain. Its a completely blank slate to be decorated. I’m just awaiting the delivery of an air mattress I ordered online to move in.
The building is an apartment building from the 1920’s. It has the original hardwood floors intact, which I think are great, even if they are a little squeaky. The walls are plaster stucco, and there are arched door frames. The kitchen appliances are fairly new, and there are several closets, but the most amazing this is the space. The emptiness of the apartment make it seem bigger, but its still a lot of room for one person with no furniture to fill.
One wouldn’t think that for someone who has spent the past four years moving from dorm room to dorm room and jumping around off campus apartments that another pack and move would be problematic. This was exactly my mindset before going into the details of how different a move across the country would be compared to moving around the same town. with a collage move one can think short term because you know exactly when you will be back next. One can plan a year ahead, sometime less and pack like it’s an extremely long vacation.
“Ohhh I’ll just leave my winter stuff, and pick it up when I’m back for Thanksgiving”.
Packing for an unknown leave meant everything had to be given consideration. My goal was to get everything I wanted with me in Seattle into a box to be shipped, and everything else to be thrown out, recycled or given away. This was not as easy of a task as I thought it would be. I never considered the amount of stuff that I had accumulated over the years. I found that I was holding on to old homework assignments dating at least back to middle school. If I were a narcissistic anthropologist I would be writing a lengthy dissertation right now and not a blog. Here is a small list of some of the more surprising things I found:
- Old homework
- Boxes that haven’t been opened since they were packed in 2004
- Fish Food and a fish tank filter ( I haven’t had a fish for 10+ years)
- Amazingly large numbers of old birthday cards
Some things made the cut and a lot more have been trashed. It is hard to understand how challenging it can be sorting through one’s own possessions. Finding old doodles from high school which I have no need to keep; they are not something I spent any time or thought on when I made them, I haven’t missed them for the past five years that they have been sitting in a paper tower, but finding them again triggers an association with the memories around their origin. One picks up the paper and on recognizing the content is hit by a tide of nostalgia, but consciously realizing its just clutter stuffs it in the trash and moves to the next piece in the pile. It was very emotionally draining.
In the end I filled about six garbage bags of trash, a large pile of recyclables and an overstuffed hamper with clothes along with six boxes ready to be moved out with me. A good deal was left behind, so I had not been fully successful in moving out all of my belongings; but I had my room cleaner than it’s been in a very long time, I had packed everything that was a necessity and more, and my flight was in a few hours.
A 3000+ mile move can really shake up one’s life. Having recently graduated I managed to achieve the mythical gainful employment that is troubling many of my peers. This job has taken my across the country, away from my East Coast roots, to Seattle WA. This is some documentation on the move and the acclimatization to many cultures of the Coffee city.