Now that I’m fully moved out of the old place, that’s it, right? For this book, yes. For this journey, no. For broad strokes, we’ve already forged ahead with plans to release these Moving Zeal essays as an ebook under our Betterslog publishing house. By this essay’s publication, I will be knee-deep in the sequel, Downsizing Zeal, and that journey begins now, after having filled a two-bedroom apartment. That book’s goal: a one-day, one?-truck move.
I’ve reached the point in this move where all the big stuff is moved over. Now it’s just the little bits. As I bring over more carloads, because I don’t want to burden anyone else with these boxes and boxes of things, I can fully conceptualize just how much of this I don’t want anymore. It’s not a reckless purge. More that I’m going to decisively cut all that doesn’t serve me or my writing.
I passed on some free Magic: The Gathering cards this week. They were the sort of free where the only requirement was going up to someone, talking to them, and then receiving the free deck of cards. Except that’s only somewhat free. Once you put something like that in your bag, along with everything else you collected that day, it becomes another thing to worry about, store, or otherwise deal with days… or years later.
My legs have five major bruises, I slammed my left hand into a wall, my back hurts, and I still have a few carloads and truckloads to go. From my time doing mildly-heavy labor – if moving furniture, computers, donations, and scrap metal count for anything – I had learned, and am relearning, the value of taking care of myself. I’ve got a few more days of stuff to move, so there’s no need to burn out.
As I sat in the lobby waiting for my interviewer to arrive, I thought about how I only own one polo shirt now, and three dress shirts that aren’t white. I prefer a limited professional wardrobe. Call it laziness, or inspired by videogame characters, but I see no point in spending any effort showing myself off in various colors. Which is funny to contrast with the multitude of concert shirts I own, but there’s logic.
Deep in my archives, I have a video I recorded on my last night in my old apartment, after someone frantically knocked on my door looking for drugs. I realize now it was a vicious prank. This is probably my last night sleeping in the old place and I haven’t yet received a threatening knock this evening. Even after changing over my mailing address, it still doesn’t feel real. It’s not regretting I feel; nostalgia?
Life is the most stressful thing we all do. Within it, there is beauty and brutality. What happens when we encounter overwhelming stress? Stimuli that seems unfathomable from multiple angles can seem like juggling chainsaws, and before I forced myself to remain sober, moments like these would be my weakness. I would allow the stress to consume me. Now, though stress still affects me deeply, I’m usually able to bounce back overnight with some self-care.
The view beyond my side-table-turned-desk on my final days in the old place are of random plastic bags, a DVD player, rug, empty boxes, and at least seven fragile paper bags holding heavy VHS tapes. One of these bags shattered on the way to the new apartment. I’ve been idly pondering on my first day of rest after five days of moving furniture and boxes: How will I move these? How about everything else here?
My vision for Zeal was a collaborative space to write or work on business ideas. What it became was a storage room in my old place, so in the new place, to overcome my hoarding tendencies, I needed my home office of Zeal to have one final hurrah as a storage room, but this time, done right. Shelves line the walls and the center aisle as I take in the remainder of the old clutter.
Six truckloads, five carloads, five additional carloads into storage, and I’m still not vacated from my old place. Those numbers exclude twelve donation runs and giving stuff to friends. What all this stuff makes me feel now is incredibly selfish. It doesn’t make me feel good. I’m flooded in stuff I’ve underused, isolated from friends, family, and work while I address all this. Don’t get this bad. Don’t let your hoarding tendencies control your life.