Monday, December 28, 2015

Post SAS Reflection I: Home Again

Sunset at Civitavecchia - 2015
On December 22nd I returned home to Maine.  I was met at the airport by my friend Max-Anthony and my mother, whose home I am staying in for at the time being. 

Before I left for Semester at Sea I had decided to give up my apartment.  I sorted my belongings, selling what I could and giving away quite a bit.  The remainder I packed up and put into storage in my father's basement.  Other than a few winter clothes, my drums and my stuffed bunny, most of my stuff remains there and I'm still unsure of what to do with most of it. 

During three months that I was at sea I lived out of two suitcases.  Everything I needed, clothes, shoes, toiletries, snacks, school supplies, two drums, zils, jewelry, textbooks and technology all fit into those two suitcases.  While I did manage to collect a few new items during my travels, they took the place of things I was not returning with, such as used up toiletries and donated text books. I returned with the same two bags with which I departed. 

One morning about a week before we arrived in San Diego, while I was having my coffee on deck nine of the ship, I decided to make a list of what I knew I had in storage.  I was curious to see what I recalled.  I didn't allow myself to add generalities such as "kitchen stuff" or "clothes" to the list.  I wanted to be specific. I had the idea that whatever I could clearly recall must be most important to me.   My list was as follows:

  • Black sweater
  • Gray sweater
  • Riq
  • Tambourine
  • Dance sword
  • Dark Follies costume and top hat
  • Cast iron frying pan
  • A patched pair of jeans
  • Winter coat
  • Combat boots
  • Vampire folklore books
  • My desk and my bed

Considering the amount of floor space that my stuff takes up in the basement, this is not a very long list.  I expect that when I have time to sort through all of it I will have many happy discoveries of things I've forgotten.  I'll ask myself if the fact that I forgot that I owned them means I value them less or have less need of them.  It is unclear how I will answer that question.

While on board the ship I did not feel that I was lacking anything.  Of course some things, such as my kitchen items, I did not have need of at all on the ship but would definitely have a need for should I have  my own kitchen again.  And when it came time for the ship dance show case I did miss my top hat and dance sword, but I never felt that I was missing any immediate necessity.  I was quite comfortable with my small cabin and my limited belongings. 

There are many things I discovered on this journey that I wish to carry forward into my daily life.  This simplicity of living with less is one of them.  Right now, while I am living in my mother's small apartment, that will be fairly easy, but what will happen should I find myself in a larger space?  Will I want to fill it up with objects, gee-gaws and comforts or will I look back and recall the less material life that I led on the MV World Odyssey?

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