Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Process Begins

In yesterday's more than slightly angsty post I talked a lot about the uncertainty of my future plans.  In early September I leave for three months of study aboard a ship that will be traveling all over the Atlantic ocean.  There has been a lot of preparation for this journey; the application, the fundraising, scholarship applications, visa applications, medical visits for vaccinations, and so much more.  As part of this process of preparing for my departure on this journey I have also had to give some thought to what will happen upon my return.  After much consideration I have made the decision to give up my room in the apartment I currently share with two roommates.

There are several factors that contributed to this decision.  The primary one being that it makes no sense for me to pay three months rent for a room I am not actually living in.  I did try to find someone to take the space for that time but that led me to my second reason for my not wanting to keep the space.  In ten months I will be graduating from school.  I have no idea what will be happening in my life after that point.  Even if I had found a person to take the space, signing a lease for another year, which would go well beyond my graduation date, just didn't seem practical. And so here I am now, contemplating not only what will happen upon my return (I do have a place to stay in the immediate), but also what needs to be done to prepare for this rather big life change.

When I first started giving the idea some thought I admit to having a shit ton some anxiety about the prospect of not having a permanent home, but I realized soon after that, having been a renter for my entire adult life, I have never really had a permanent home.  I've always lived with the possibility that rent could be raised to an amount higher than I could afford, or that the building I lived in could be sold, or that I could have terrible neighbors and choose to move on my own, or any number of other uncertainties that renters live with. I also came to realize that this decision also presented me with an opportunity to do something I've wanted to do for a long time and that is to simplify.

I know that the term simplify is somewhat of an overly trendy cliche these days, but as I said it is something that has appealed to me for some time now.  I look around my living space and there are moments I feel overwhelmed with 'stuff.'   I have so many things that are saved for rainy days, heaps of "I might use this someday," and piles of "I'll get to this one day."  The rainy-some-one-day has yet to arrive; its time to let those heaps and piles go.  I also have a deep desire to live in a fashion that is as low impact as possible, which, while I've not quite figured out exactly what that will entail either, in the long term likely means living in smaller spaces that simply to do not have the room for rainy-some-one-day stuff.

Over the next month I'll be selling, giving away, tossing and otherwise paring down my belongings.  I'm giving myself a month because I want to have my last few weeks before the trip free to visit friends and to take care of any last minute preparations that might be needed. I'm also a terrible procrastinator and having a deadline can be motivating.  Having talked with friends and having read the blogs of those who have gone through a similar process I know it won't be easy but it is my hope that when it is done I will feel lighter not only in physical "stuff" but in my heart as well.

The process begins now...

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