Moving is simultaneously the worst and best thing ever.
Yesterday the boyfriend and I vacated our tiny studio in Shadyside and transferred our belongings into a spacious two bedroom/two bathroom apartment in a high-rise in Highland Park. Writing it out like that makes it sound so simple and concise, and yet nothing about yesterday could be described as such. We started at 7am, pulling stuff out into the hallway, lugging furniture down the front steps of the building to the UHaul, lifting boxes onto a dolly and wheeling them up the ramp of the truck. I never knew moving out of a studio apartment would require a 17-foot truck, but it DID, friends. How 17 feet of anything fit in that tiny place of ours will never cease to amaze me.
So from 7am until 9pm we were packing, loading, driving, parking, and unloading. And then loading the unloaded stuff onto a freight elevator. And unloading the elevator and dragging the stuff to our new place, where we shoved all of it into a huge pile it the middle of the living room and left it before collapsing into fitful sleep.
I hate packing to move. I really do. Unpacking is infinitely more fun, because you get to reorganize, re-imagine, re-decorate. But as organized as I like to think I am, when it comes to packing, everything usually winds up thrown together in an eleventh-hour, miscellaneous jumble. For the record, I do keep all my dishes/kitchen items together. I’m a pressed glass nerd. Huge. If anything happened to my precious Fire King collection, I’d cry. (And I have, when one of my jadeite dinner plates broke in half earlier this year.) Everything else, though, is pretty much a free-for-all.
Except the dishes.
And except, now, the writing materials.
I mentioned our new place has two bedrooms, the smaller of which is to function as a guest room for the occasional visitor(s), but most of the time will be my office. This afternoon, in spite of our horrendously sore and weary muscles, my fellow and I started to organize boxes and bags by room. We ended up getting a lot accomplished: our living room is set up, his office area is (mostly) set up, and the kitchen is probably 70% done. Earlier this evening I went into my office to survey the scene. My bookshelves and desk are still six hours away back home, so the rest of my stuff – books, knickknacks, papers – are still in their boxes. As much as I am itching to get it sorted out, I have to wait until I get the rest of my furniture next week.
But as I stood there, ankles and knees and hips aching from the effort, I realized that I have managed to fill two huge plastic tubs with notebooks and essays, various drafts of stories and poems, literature papers and my Master’s thesis in all its many forms. Drafts that have been conceived and abandoned, or conceived and re-organized and re-imagined. I have amassed two barely lift-able boxes of writing, most of it personal, lots of it painful, all of it laborious. That’s .. a little nuts. At least from my standpoint. Up until three years ago, I didn’t think I had the talent to write anything.
So now when I have what feels like my body weight in words? Well.
Let’s just say that in spite of the pain, writing is so worth the effort.