What Do I Really Need? Packing Up My Life In Los Angeles
“You can spend minutes, hours, days, weeks, or even months over-analyzing a situation; trying to put the pieces together, justifying what could’ve, would’ve happened… or you can just leave the pieces on the floor and move the fuck on.” Tupac Shakur
I’m a traveler so I pack all the time but the process of moving out of a house you have lived in for a long time seems insurmountable. It keeps you constantly focused and in the present of what is important. What is the most beautiful or most practical? How many clothes do I actually need? And why do I have so many other versions of almost the same thing? How many books do I really love? Do I need a suitcase collection?
I felt lucky to have boxes of memories of happy moments and remembrances of people who have died or passed through my life. I’m more of a hoarder than a minimilst when it comes to stuff. It is interesting to see the randomness of things we hold on to. The more stuff you have, the more resources and energy you spend taking care of them. I notice that there are a lot of things that are just taking up space in my life.
The problem with being the person left in the house is that you are the one to deal with all the accumulated memories. I have cleaned out the garage once and the surfboards bicycles, skiing and camping equipment, musical instruments and some suitcases are long gone. It is a lot of memories for one lifetime.
What do I really need? For such a long time I have lived my life for other people. It is a scary but liberating question. What is right for me? When you claw back some space from the overwhelming demands of other people in your life, you start to think about your own needs. I need to feel safe. I need light and walls to hang my art. I need to hear and be heard, love and be loved. I need to be able to travel.
Eventually I will pack up the whole house. There is always a sadness about packing up a house. I expect to hear music when something big is happening- an overture that takes you to the next step in your life. But after the chaos, the real change always happens quietly.
How good it will feel to have it all in one place, all I really need. Then I can move ahead. When you are packing, you see how much stuff you have accumulated in your life that is unimportant. Im learning what is important is the moments that the people who loved you and you loved are together. Not stuff, but memories that you take with you, wherever you may go.