From a place of relative order and the reassurance of familiar surroundings, it drops you unceremoniously into chaos, empty rooms and the need to retrieve normality from a multitude of cardboard boxes – a situation that is both exciting and a little overwhelming.
Watching those boxes disappear off down the road in the back of a van felt a little like seeing my life vanish into a wormhole, only to have it re-emerge in roughly the same shape, but in a completely different space and time.
As those boxes were unpacked, I wondered what they really stood for, what role their contents really played in my life. Did I really need all those things? After all, it would have been a lot easier to just sling them instead of spending hours wrapping them carefully in old news.
And for that short time when they were out of sight in the wormhole, who was I then, without my stuff, without my home - aside from free?
Of course many of these things have value to me - but it was a moment of checking in. Why do they matter? If I didn’t have them, what would my life be like really?
I’ve also been without Internet access for the last few weeks, so even the normal rules of communication haven’t applied. And actually it’s been really good. It’s felt like space to think, a slower pace, less demands. The inconvenience has been marginal compared to the resulting sense of being untethered.
So midway on the road from A to B, I thought about the fact that I had the potential to unpack and stay the same or take the opportunity to do a few things differently and better.
There are, of course, practical changes I’d like to make. Once and for all I’d like to get on top of my paper filing ‘system’. I have far too many emails that could be deleted without the risk of seismic tremors and, quite frankly, the charity shop could benefit from me travelling a little lighter in the clothes department… But before any of that is possible, other things need to happen.
I’m tired. My body now has a place to relax and unwind, so I need to gather my resources and let it do what it needs to do.
This new phase in my life has been pending for several months – an event waiting on the horizon. Certain aspects of routine and normality had been put on hold, waiting for the new start. Now life feels much more free flowing. I have an open stretch of future potential. Of course that was always there, but I couldn’t see it - there was a house move in the way.
So… Rest. Organise. Plan.
There are friends to see again, family to reconnect with – people I thought about among the boxes, amazing people to be woven into my new life like gold threads in a tapestry or the bubbles in champagne…
And so the future begins again. And again. A constant process of renewal that’s not limited to the times of wormholes and boxes, files and bookshelves… I can always choose to shed a skin and start afresh. It’s something worth remembering.