exciting, informative, snarky, and very likely fabricated tales of life as an american expat in london

moving memories

by Jen at 6:36 pm on 12.03.2006 | 2 Comments
filed under: mutterings and musings, world tour

started packing up our stuff this weekend. as of next week, we’ll be living like nomads, as a friend is coming to collect all our furniture and take it away.

packing is such a bittersweet exercise. the unavoidable culling of personal detrius, sorting out one’s mementos and effects, and ranking their importance. What’s expendable, what’s not reflecting the shifting internal landscape.

i’ve moved 9 times since i left home after high school. i’ve left a trail of belongings like breadcrumbs through 4 cities, 3 countries. artefacts of the lives i used to lead, and my changing priorities. pieces of my old self shed like a skin. what i no longer needed or wanted or loved became junk. objects once infused with sentiment, now refuse.

and it’s a mundane process which drains them of their power – only time. the items i brought over in my suitcase when i first moved here to remind me of home, no longer carry that weight. home is no longer home. and when i revisit the items i left behind in basement boxes, they no longer seem so poignant. mementos less momentus. the attachment eases by degrees with the passing years.

but it’s tough, this paring down to the bare necessities. I’m a thrower by nature, but I’ve done this so many times now, that my instinct is to hold fast. i’m tired of discarding things because I have to. i want some stuff that is *mine*. things that feel like home. things that i keep just for the hell of it, just in case. i want the luxury of the non-essential.

nomadism isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.



  • 1

    Comment by Nicole

    13.03.2006 @ 11:17 am

    I know what you mean. Figuring out what I was going to ship here was not fun. Stuart has still not forgiven me for sending my books- but the way I look at it, my books are part of the package.

    You are going to have a fantastic time though! machu pichu has been on my personal world tour must go there before I die list for years.

  • 2

    Comment by Jen

    13.03.2006 @ 16:24 pm

    Yup – hoping all the craziness will all be worth it!

    I did leave my books stateside though (

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