Friday, July 9, 2010

Cleaning Up, Cleaning Out

This summer I'm going through the process of selling my furniture. "Oh, selling furniture," you say, "How nice." No indeed. I have this semester in Ireland coming up, and I'm not sure where I'll be going after that. Even if I do come back to Montreal, it will hopefully only be for a semester or two just to finish writing my thesis, in which case it will be easier on the whole to just sublet an already furnished place. Then I have to leave Montreal. It's for a variety of reasons really, but one of the big ones is that I came here in a transition phase, and even though I stayed longer than I had originally planned, and I've integrated into the community and learned how everything works, it's just not home. And after six years of undergrad, working full-time, grad school, and various sports, parishes and religious groups, if it's not home by now, it never will be. I need to find a place I can call home so I can settle down. Being in transition is fun and exciting, but on the long term, it is also exhausting.

But back to the furniture. Originally the plan was to rent a truck and drive one-way to my parents' place in PEI with some of the things that I wanted to keep. But thanks to the baseline price of $2,000 at UHaul for the smallest truck, that plan is out the window. Now the plan is that Mom will drive out in our Scion, which is about the size of a small SUV, and whatever can fit in one trip gets to stay. All the rest has to go.

Now, I'm a person who doesn't like change. I understand that it's necessary, but to me it's necessary like going to the dentist is necessary. I'll do it, but only when I must. Like I said, I've been in this city for six years, and in the same apartment for the last three. I've worked hard to get nice things and make the place more home-like. Now I have to tear it all up and make it go away. I have to let go of it. So far, the hardest part was getting rid of my couch. I love that couch like I have never loved a piece of furniture before. I fit into perfectly for naps, it was great for watching movies, it was pretty, and I scored it for a super-low price. Today, someone is coming to look at my desk. This will be the next hardest. We pulled this desk off the curb when I was in second grade. It was dark green, and we painted it white, and then it was in my room for a long time. In eighth grade I went through a furniture painting phase, and painted it dark purple with huge light purple polka dots. My mom and sister did macramé on the drawers with tissue paper and wrapping paper of various patterns. It fits all my stuff perfectly and it's been through my whole life. I love this desk. But it has to go.

On the whole, this will be a good thing. With nothing tying me down, such as an apartment that I love waiting for me or a bunch of stuff in storage, I will be much more able and inclined to leave Montreal for good. Because even though I'm not very happy here, since I don't like change, I've so far found it easier and less scary to stay.

But this is my big break. Will I move to Des Moines after my degree? Maybe Chicago (though I think I need to get out of the city for a while)? Live near my family in Charlottetown? Go teach in Toronto? Okay, probably not Toronto. Maybe I'll miss Dublin so much that I'll go back. Or head to the West Coast, even. Who knows.

So even though it's sad to see my beloved things go, I know it's for the better. I feel lighter already, less burdened, more free and flexible. I'm going to Des Moines for a vacation next week, and when I get back it'll be time to really get down to the nitty-gritty of what's going to stay vs. what has to go, and when and how and to whom. In the heat of summer, no less. Ugh. But once it's done, it's done, then I head to the beach in PEI for a couple of weeks with the family, then I fly from Halifax to Dublin in early September. And I will have nothing in Montreal to hold me down or worry about or consider. I'll be gone. And it will be wonderful.

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