Saturday, September 29, 2012

Like a million little doorways, all the choices we made

I'm now officially homeless.  I closed and locked the door of the house for the last time this evening, set the security system, got in the car, and drove away.

I drove back there from my ex's for the last time tonight, driving down Saint Paul St. and then up Charles St. for the last time.

I spent the evening in my ex's apartment for the last time, although we chose to say "see you soon" instead of goodbye, echoing my last Baltimore lunch with my friend Polly this afternoon.

I took my house keys off the ring tonight, adding them to the pile of keys I carry with me always, but will likely never use again.

I'm homeless, and feeling at sea.  The second hardest thing for me (after all the emotional things) is that my routine is completely shattered.  I'm trying to remember that even though it's difficult, it's a good thing.  The whole point of this exercise is to create a new life, and that means clearing out as much of my old life as I can, as I need to, so this new life can emerge and grow and thrive.  

The drive across the country is an important part of this, a literal transition to move me from the old to the new.  I have to remember to honor that process, and not try to short-circuit it, to let this rebirth happen, even through the pain of it.

5 days to Portland ...

Friday, September 28, 2012

Show me lonely and show me openings to lead me closer to you

Ways to tell I'm living in limbo and am essentially homeless, all of which are amusing the hell out of me:

  • I have to unpack and repack my toiletries every time I shower or brush my teeth or whatever.  A profoundly weird thing to be doing in a house I still own ...
  • The ringer on the remaining phone is unfamiliar.
  • Very soon, I will have no place to sit but the fireplace hearth. 
  • I keep forgetting that there are no trash cans anywhere, but only a trash bag in the kitchen.

And the bang-my-head-on-the-dining-room-chandelier count is currently at 2 ...

6 days to Portland ...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I'll bring you when my lifeboat sails through the night

The POD is full, the house is pretty much empty.  The junk people come tomorrow, and the house will be emptier.

Tonight I'm sleeping on the mattress from the futon sofa that didn't fit into the POD, and which will be hauled away in the morning.

The floors are filthy, and one of my tasks for tomorrow is to vacuum every inch.  I also need to finish packing my suitcase and my overnight bag, and figure out how to get everything in the car for the long cross-country drive that starts on Monday.

I've reached new levels of exhaustion, yet I know I'll have trouble sleeping tonight.

7 days to Portland ...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

No one gets to their heaven without a fight

Spent the day sealing boxes and getting the last miscellaneous things dealt with, one way or another.

Right up until I tested the spare keys I had turned and the first one stuck in the lock.  After-hours, of course.

But a locksmith came out in less than an hour, and got the key out with no problem, and the lock still works just fine, so no harm, no foul.

The POD is here, and the movers are confirmed for tomorrow, so in the morning, I just need to pack up the car, seal the last boxes, get the trash and recycling out, and wait for the movers to arrive.

Now I'm off to bed early, to let the meds do their thing for this stress-induced migraine, and to let me get up early so I can finish up in plenty of time for tomorrow's festivities.

8 days to Portland ...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Every morning I've got a new chance

Singing glory hallelujah - with the exception of my clothes and toiletries, I think I'm done packing. I suppose I could still trip over something I've missed, and I still need to take the drafting table apart, but I wandered through the house tonight and couldn't find anything big that I'd missed.


Off to shower and then fall asleep, and dream of my POD arriving tomorrow, and dream more of home and my loved ones waiting there for me.

9 days to Portland ...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Infiltrate the walls that are caving in

I have truly arrived at the point of tossing shit into boxes.

All my boxes tonight are labeled "misc" in my box content spreadsheet, with loving detail about what constitutes misc for that particular incarnation.

I did manage to find a hidden corner: in my early frenzy to pack winter stuff, I had completely forgotten to pack my winter coats, which were still lurking in one of the upstairs bedroom closets.

I still have some Freecycling to do, and I still need to clean off and extricate the drafting table from its spot in the basement, and I still need to put all the thawed-out blue ice into one of the coolers and decide if I want a cooler in the car to hold bottled water.

I still need to sort out and pack my clothes.  I also need to let go of having a printer and just pack the damned thing already.

But I'm feeling pretty good about it all.

10 days to Portland ...

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Wait for the sky to remind you these things are true...

Much progress made today.

Assuming I don't find any hidden corners of the house that I've just flat forgotten to pack, I'm thinking I'm about 98% done with packing.  Freecycling is still ongoing, but I'm less concerned about that now that I've got the junk pickup scheduled; the big stuff to Freecycle has pretty much already gone, so I'm in good shape.

But I'm now officially bedless.  I stripped the sheets off the mattress this morning, the bed having already been disassembled during Jay's visit (bless him for doing that).  The sheets have been washed and packed and the mattress is in its storage cover, standing up against one wall, making room for all the packing boxes needed for the rest of the bedroom stuff.

I'm feeling pretty good - I estimated I'd pack about 50 boxes, and am currently at 51 with just a few left to pack.

Not too bad.

Lots of positive news from home, including more pictures of the new bed that was delivered yesterday.

So everything is good.  Now if I could just find some more energy so I'm not dragging myself around for the rest of my time here ...

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Little sister can't you find another way, no more livin' life behind a shadow

Busy day, but productive.

It started out with me taking the car in for service, and ending up with new brakes.  Surprise!  But the surprise if they failed as we're cruising cross-country would have been a lot worse, so no complaints here.

Then out for brunch with my high-school sweetheart, which was a lot of fun.  It's been almost 2 years since I've seen him, after not seeing him for 30 years before that.

Then out for errands: gassing up the car, buying food for the road from Whole Foods, buying still more packing boxes.

And all the while getting updates from home.  Yes, I do mean Portland.

Counting down the days til I'm home.

Friday, September 21, 2012

All the people that you've loved, they're all bound to leave some keepsakes

Odd, disjointed day today.

I got a lot of Freecycling done, with more to go.  I set up a post-movers appointment with 1-800-GOT-JUNK so I can get rid of the remaining furniture and miscellaneous junk after everything else is gone.  Also managed to schedule the painters to come after I've moved out, which will work better from their point of view, since the rooms to be painted will be empty.

I watched from afar as Jay underwent his first chemo session of this round.  Everyone, Jay included, was wonderfully careful to keep me up-to-date.  It's weird to feel so loved in the midst of something like this, but it's a good-weird.

And I had dinner with my ex tonight, which went really well.  I'm grateful that he was willing to let me say goodbye, and that he seems genuinely happy with my situation.

So very tired right now, but not quite ready to sleep.  Not sure what I'm holding on to here,  in this moment, but I'm not ready to let it go quite yet.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Living in the future

On a more positive note, having given up on packing for the night, and having already packed up my entertainment center, and being in need of some diversion, I'm watching episodes of the TV show Life on my Kindle.  In the early episodes, the main character, who is a cop who has been in prison for 12 years and thus is wholly ignorant of the Internet and other technology, spends a lot of the time talking about living in the future as he learns about cell phones, IMs, and other things we take for granted.

This is my "living in the future" moment for the day ...

You've got nowhere to go but here

This is where it starts to get hard for me.

Jay's first chemo session is tomorrow, and I'm here instead of there.

I'm in the process of saying goodbye to all the people in my life here - lunch with my sister-in-law tomorrow (who I'll still call my sister-in-law a million years after I'm divorced from her brother); dinner with my ex; brunch with my high-school sweetheart; brunch with one of my oldest and dearest girlfriends, then dinner later next week with her and her husband.  The litany goes on.

My days here are quite literally numbered, and I'm having to let go of having any number of things done before I go.  All of them are things I can do from Portland, but all of them would have been easier to deal with from here, if I'd only had time.

Keep moving forward, one step at a time, one box at a time, one piece of the process at a time. One bite at a time, and I can eat the whole damned elephant.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A brace of hope, a pride of innocence

Today we reach the first point where the packing process feels profoundly weird.

I've packed all the clocks.

I've packed my altar, even though I would have switched its contents for the fall contents on Saturday.

I've packed my poppets.

The bedding and pillows are starting to go into boxes.

It's all becoming real.  This isn't my house anymore, and my home isn't here.  The things that made this house my home are all in transition now, some to come with me on the road, some to be shipped and to wait for me to find a new, more permanent home.

I've known that Baltimore wasn't my home anymore from the moment the plane wheels hit the tarmac on my trip back to Portland in August.  But now I'm finally truly letting go of this house, of this identity, of this me.

Oh, glory, what a ride is ahead of me ...

Man, you people are picky

For all of you (and you know who you are) who reminded me about Blogger's Android app, here is proof that I both love you and am listening: my first post from my phone.

Are you happy now? Sheesh ... LOL

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Better make sure you're looking closely, before you fall into your swoon

Tonight is one of those nights when the universe laughs at my plans.

I had planned to come home, do some laundry, take up the rugs to give to my ex, pack the living room, and work some more on packing the kitchen and bedroom.

But the universe had other plans for me.

Instead, the commute that usually takes me 2 hours from door to door took me 4 hours, mostly because of signal outages due to the severe weather.  So instead of getting home at a reasonable hour with enough energy to do what I needed to do, I got home ridiculously late, with low blood sugar (even after eating a good dinner), and just enough energy to change clothes, talk to the people I love, and fall over into bed.

Well, and write this post, but that's negligible in the scheme of things ...

Tomorrow, I'm back at it.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Camp Chaos

So my movers are coming on the 27th, which essentially gives me a hair more than a week to finish packing.


I'm about 85% done in the kitchen, which leaves the bedroom, bathroom, hall closet, living room (minor), and miscellaneous packing to do.

As you might imagine, my house is a flaming disaster area. I'm reduced to stepping over and around packed boxes, flat boxes, packing material, tape, blah blah blah.

Even though I weeded my belongings ruthlessly over the past year, knowing I was going to be moving somewhere at some point, I still feel like I've got way too much stuff. It's times like this I really want to get down to that Zen thing of my bowl and cushion. And a toothbrush. And a hair brush. And some soap. And ...

Clearly, this way lies madness ...

Starting again ...

I'm currently in the process of packing up my house in Baltimore and moving to Portland, OR.

Enough people have asked me to keep them up-to-date on my moving progress, my drive across the country, and my settling-in to Portland that I thought I would just bite the bullet and start blogging again.

Fair warning - I am an intermittent blogger at best. Maybe this series of events will be something that will motivate me to blog more regularly, but my record is against me.

But this is a grand adventure, with a new life at the other end. If that's not enough to get me writing, what am I waiting for?