I seem to spend a lot of time packing. As a self professed typical Cancer I won't shut up about my need for home and comfort. Yet at 40, I am still not settled. Under the 8-year umbrella of my life in Los Angeles, I have moved five times. There were two more times while I was bicoastal and back east, I moved five more times in ten (-ish) years.
What I have learned about packing is that when cost, space, or weight is an issue (see: Moving Companies) you have to shed.
I covet things, another supposed Cancer trait. Yet my years of moving have forced me to whittle everything down to the precious few. The Books… my sweet books have been reduced to a handful of beloved beat-up, old paperbacks and any play I have ever read, with an occasional textbook thrown in (it’s good for me to be reminded what Jung said every once and a while). Also, every fancy, bulky picture book I’ve ever gotten has traveled with me. They are always the hugest box in the move. The box that should take two, but some moron (me) yanks his back lifting it up the fight of stairs by himself. No more.
The picture book pile is what I’ll be tackling for this move. For me, the Cancer…deciding to end my relationship with my big, pretty books is an emotional and self- discovering journey. I am a huge Art nut. But I have to be honest with myself. I know those picture books are not for me to reminisce over Impressionism and The World of the MET. They have traveled with me everywhere because those big books make me feel stylish and elegant and smart, and that is too vain a reason to continually lug them everywhere. I’m acknowledging my weakness, and saying goodbye.
Now, I know my limits and I can’t quite cold turkey. I will still pack a few, but only the smaller books and only from the twentieth century on. That I can handle. Safety nets and back-up plans: the life force of the Cancer.