Unpacking and repacking items is a fantastic way to get you to sit around for hours on end, questioning all of your life choices.
For instance, while trying to find a temporary spot for my toothbrush and facial lotions, I saw Kinoki cleansing detox foot pads box, which I knew my brother had bought because my family is one of those that laughs at As Seen on TV commercials, then secretly buys the products to test how honest the seller was.
I did thirty minutes of research on whether or not the pads were a hoax because 50% of myself thought it was complete bullshit to think that putting some herbs on your calloused feet and think toxins would ooze out of just that area, yet 50% of myself thought, “Hm, the directions say to only use it every other night for each foot, and that they need to stay on for at least eight to ten hours to work properly…sounds legit!” There were mixed reviews, nothing conclusive, and a lot of people who wondered what was inside of the package (maybe to make their own?).
I then took fifteen minutes to figure out how I was supposed to apply them to my feet, reading carefully and having this insecurity that I’d mess it up, which was stupid because it was a new box and I could simply try again. The positioning of the pads seemed pertinent to my experience.
Another thirty minutes after that was dedicated to more research as the pads stuck pretty well to my feet. The comment section, which I’ve always promised to never read, were scoured for people’s responses to this obvious money scheme. I panicked only because several people said their pads smelt of old meat in the morning. I kept thinking of the episode of The Office where Michael accidentally burnt his foot by stepping on a personal sized grill because he wanted to wake up to the smell of bacon. Would I have this same fate, minus the burning sensations? Or maybe I’d have a burning on my feet, too!
I checked to see if it was too late to take off the Kinoki pads of possible rotten bacon smell hell, but they were already quite bonded with my skin since they use that sticky gauze that is almost equal to that of using duct tape on glass. I was stuck to see whether my foot sweat would smell like gross feet or like the lavender the box promised was there to soothe me (which didn’t make total sense since I don’t tend to have my feet next to any noses unless I’m stretching). And by stuck, I meant I was too lazy to peel it away and wash off the residue.
The next morning held a dark, hardened herb packet for each foot that didn’t smell at all. Except for my own sheepishness.
And that’s kind of been the past week. Unpacking, repacking, and holding a garage sale for all of the fancy clothes I won’t need anymore (I pray to the gods above that I won’t be eating my words in a year).
The garage sale was tough. Not the actual sale itself, wherein I got to sit and play my ukulele for 8 hours a day while people browsed my life. No, it was the pricing my life that had a lot of deep breaths and bitten lips.
I wanted my sale to be cheap so I could get rid of as many things as possible while still making a good penny. My clothes were stylish and cute (although, not brand name–I’m not that fancy), and, most of all, well kept. My job had gone to casual wear daily, so many of my shirts and pants were like-new.
I was happy to price all of these.
It was my every-day wear that killed me to get rid of. My shirts referencing my video games, Beatles, Moondance Jam, and Firefly/Doctor Who crossovers? I can’t take them all with me overseas. Not even my companion ice cube tray, nor my tens of scarves I’ve collected over the years.
And what if I end up staying overseas for a couple of years? I just keep them in storage at my parents’ place until further notice?
Selling your life is weird. Plain and simple. Particularly by choice. I am looking at an item I absolutely adore and am saying, “This other thing I want to do in life is more important than my investment with you over the past ten years.”
I have a shirt from my first year in softball. I’d managed to get my lucky number thirteen. I’ve had it for probably twenty years. Twenty. Years. That doesn’t even seem healthy. But I held it in my hands and wondered why it was so hard to let go of. I hesitated, wondering if I’d regret not having it in my future.
And then I started packing my suitcase.
Should I bring the nice dress so I have something in case there is a need for a certain dress code? Then I’d better bring two or three so I’m not always wearing the same thing to those functions…right? And how do I choose between my 50 TeeFury shirts that have become staples in my wardrobe? What if I wake up one morning and wish I’d still had my Indiana Jones/Mario crossover shirt, or my Lucy from Peanuts sitting on a cloud holding a diamond reference? Legend of Zelda is fit for any occasion, so those are coming, obviously…but what about my Mrowwy Night print, or my collection of vinyls?
I never fully understood how materialistic I was until I found myself debating between a decent traveling dress and a pair of pants that don’t quite fit me like they used to.
I understand that I am not of hoarder status, but I am definitely of the keeping things way longer than needed type. While I’ve gotten better over the years, I still have a long way to go before I can claim a nomad lifestyle.
Although, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to claim that title since I am forcing my parents to keep two boxes filled with all of my video gaming items from my NES to WiiU/360.
…and fifteen boxes more filled with books.
With every item I placed in the pile to sell or donate, I asked myself, “Would I ever want to ship this over to me if I knew I were living there for the next five years?” And if I said yes, I’d then ask, “If you donated it to someone who needed it, would you miss it all that much?” It’s typically no.
The donating part has made it easier. The thought of what I love helping someone else eases the pang of never seeing the item again. I can then imagine someone else getting excited enough over finding a karaoke machine that they invite the whole neighborhood to record a rendition of their favorite Shania Twain song. I’d rather someone be loving it as much as I do than have it thrown away.
After I made all of these decisions, including that I’d be repacking my suitcase several more times before I leave as you become more rational as you consider the situation over time, a tingling sensation came over me. It is almost July. I will be leaving soon. I’ve quit my job and have a finite amount of money for this upcoming journey of writing and travel. This isn’t a vacation. This is a change of lifestyle.
This transition should be easy. After all, the only person holding me back is myself. And myself can’t seem to want to sell or donate my Potter Puppet Pals shirts I got at the Harry and the Potters concert I went to three summers ago. Even though I don’t have enough room in my suitcase between the hiking clothes and extra shampoo.
As of right now, I’ve allowed myself three extra tubs for storage. One for memories, one for items, and the last for extra clothes I’m not taking with me, which is a mixture of Renaissance costumes, university attire, and shirts I swear I’ll be happy to see again when I open the bin.
For someone who never wants to own a house, I sure seem to want a place to put all of my prized possessions I won’t see for half a year or more. I am hopeful to take a page from the Buddhist realm in the coming weeks on letting go. I think I am in a geek mindset, maybe, where I feel I need physical proof of my love for my interests. Mixed with loving to be surrounded by what I love, because who doesn’t?
There is nothing quite like waking up to a canvas picture of Neil Patrick Harris smiling at you. Makes you feel like everything is going to be okay.
Still, I’m wearing the Kinoki again tonight. You know… for science.