My dear readers: I miss blogging with you! But that’s what moving will do to you, I suppose. I’ve been lost in the dark, lonely oblivion of an internet-less world. With no web access and no television, I felt slightly Amish. Of course, there aren’t many Amish folks riding around in wagons checking Facebook via iPhone. But, I digress. I’m finally back online and back in the 21st Century as of yesterday.
The move is finally over! (Cue: Confetti! Streamers! Party music! Spiked punch!) After breaking literally every nail on my body, walking away with several unexplained bruises and a very sore back, and eating way too much take-out, I am officially a resident of historic Arlington, Virginia.
This move has taught me a lot about myself—some good things, some bad. First, I am a lot stronger than I give myself credit for—both physically and mentally. Organizing and executing a big move on my own always refreshes my sense of independence. In the words of Kelly Clarkson: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger… doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone!” (Side note: Her new album is amazing. Buy it.)
Second—and this is where it gets a little ugly—I think I may qualify to star on an episode of Hoarders. This makes me sick as I type it. I have a serious, possibly incurable problem with collecting the following items:
- Office supplies (I am my own personal Staples.)
- Coffee mugs (Why on earth does a single person need 23 mugs?)
- Cleaning products (I like to clean, but this is getting ridiculous.)
- Scarves (Call me Frosty the Snowman.)
- Candles (As my dad says, my place is a Roman Catholic church.)
I’ve moved several times in my life, and have just hauled this stuff with me each time. Box after box, Uhaul after Uhaul, state after state. What’s the point? Do I think there’s going to be a sudden shortage of scented candles across the United States?
Third—I can live off a lot less than I think I can. Now that’s a Dr. Seuss-esque sentiment, but I think it holds so much truth. With each of my moves, I’ve downsized. And finally, this past weekend I landed in the smallest place I’ve ever lived—a cozy, 550-square-foot studio apartment. As I squeezed every box into the small space, I realized I had to get rid of some stuff.
I Craigslist’ed, eBay’ed and just plain dumped a lot of stuff. Goodbye desk. Goodbye white accent tables from my brother Steve’s wedding. Goodbye 40 DVDs I never watch. Goodbye old Tupperware without matching lids. Goodbye at least 100 pens, pencils and markers. (I told you I had an office supply addiction!)
And after it all, I’m fine. No withdrawal symptoms, no panic attacks, no real need for anything. I’ve got everything I need… and more.
As I spent hours posting items for sale online or dragging boxes to the always fragrant dumpster, I started to think of other things in life I sometimes carry around for way too long. For me, there are some old habits, old grudges, old hurts, old relationships—things I really need to just let go of, but for some reason I keep picking up those boxes and taking them with me.
Do you ever find yourself in the same boat? Are you surrounded by stuff in your life that you’ve dragged with you from years ago?
We can’t forget the words of Jesus. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV)
What are you carrying around with you from place to place, from relationship to relationship? Jesus wants to take your burden on himself. So, instead of just repacking all that junk every time—all that hurt, all that fear, all that anxiety and pain—stop and give it to God once and for all.
And then, all that space in our lives that used to be filled with garbage can soon be filled with great things from above—things like hope, faith and love.
As now, as I sit in my sunlight-filled, little apartment and watch the cars whizzing by on the street below, I feel full. Not with lots of meaningless stuff. My heart is full today with stuff that really matters. And, in part, I have you to thank for it. Thanks for reading.