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On the Move

I’ve moved 10 times in 10 years.

The hardest followed heartache, how do you tenderly break apart two lives bonded together?

We’d moved to edge of the continent and lived out the lyrics in our favorite songs all the way down PCH. He was a boy of summer and I was a California girl.

When it all ended, I sold everything from the storage unit we had back home to cobble together enough money for a security deposit and a bed. The couch and oversized chair we’d made monthly installment payments on, the large Z Gallerie coffee and end tables woven from abacca, a gift from my parents, the  bar height dining room table and chairs that seated eight  that we’d hosted so many dinners around and played so many games of cards at, but which mostly just acted as a storage area for all my school books and many handbags, the high quality futon mattress and bedframe we’d gotten a good deal on because my middle sister let us use her employee discount at the Futon Factory. A life lived together strung out across Craig’s List listings. Pieces I thought we’d own together until we owned a house together and began the collection all over again.

After that, I vowed to never fall in love with a piece of furniture again. A vow I upheld for several moves, hauling my Ikea bed and mattress all around the OC and up to LA. But when I moved to Denver, I felt as cold and empty as my new apartment was. I committed sins Fight Club cautioned us against almost a decade earlier. I made multiple trips each week to Ikea, HomeGoods, Macy’s, Bed, Bath & Beyond and Target. I scoured Amazon and Overstock.com. I Instagrammed each perfect piece as it arrived and snapped several shots of the final product. In my mind I was making a home for a man I hadn’t met yet and to host friends I hadn’t made yet. If you build it they will come. Two months later, my apartment was warm and filled with my stylish selections, yet I still felt cold and empty. I was still all alone.

Now, 18 months later, it’s causing cramping in my gut to sell off all these perfect pieces in preparation for my move for grad school. I was in denial at first. I scoured all the shipping sites, surely there was inexpensive way to move all my babies a few states away. I finally faced reality, the cheapest way to do this move would be to part with as much as possible to reduce shipping costs and sell as much as possible to offset the costs of new purchases.

Was buying all this stuff cheaper than a few therapy sessions? Why didn’t I get a studio and buy things off Craig’s List to furnish my place with until I found out whether or not I could really commit to Denver? My mind wanted to obsess over all the OTHER things I could have spent that money on, how great that money would have been to have now, but as my middle sister, the economics major, would say, “It’s all a sunk cost.” Moving to Denver was a sacrifice I made (or rather was forced into…) for my career. I guess I spent that money to surround myself with nice things as a constant reminder of what my trade-off for work was doing for me. It wasn’t enough.

Now, I’m sacrificing my finances to go back to school. I’m once again selling everything off to afford a bed and a deposit. But this time, there’s no heartache involved only joy and excitement for the future.

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