The first guy to show up was kind and connected from his heart. He looked through all my things, opened cabinets somewhat gingerly and asked a lot of questions. He told me stories of the others in his life and how grateful they were for his integrity and caring. He took his time and lingered. He seemed to leave no stone unturned. He said he’d take everything I had.
The second guy to show up was late; caught in traffic; and this, after a reschedule. He barely took into account the depth of my closets and he opened all the cabinets while pretending to talk to me about other things. He judged my furniture – “nice piece,” “ particle board.” He said “I don’t do plants,” as he waved his hand dismissingly over my potted flowers. He told stories of the others and their quirkiness, the dust in their places and the only time he wasn’t cynical was when he was talking about his upcoming trip to Italy. I swear he had no interest in me at all and was just going through the motions. I wondered why he bothered.
I met the third guy online, recommended by a friend. I have yet to hear back from him after I filled out his questionnaire asking me all kinds of questions about what I have in every room. I suspect he’s busy this weekend.
No, I’m not dating. I’m moving and these were the three very diverse estimators I encountered this week.
I don’t think I’ve ever felt more vulnerable.
For just over four years I’ve lived here and never unpacked half of my boxes. This place, as healing and wonderful as the location has been, has always been too cramped. A grand piano has a way of eating up space. Most of my things ended up in closets and the garage. For the first 6 months I lived here, the garage was inaccessible while the roof was replaced. Everything in the garage was under blue tarps getting damp and moldy. By the time the roof was on and the tarps removed, I could no longer face going through the remains of my still-in-the-process-of-divorce-twenty-four-year marriage. It just made me miserable.
Between the cramped quarters and the garage-of-painful-memories, there was nothing to do but to hike the trail outside my door. I developed an incredibly intimate relationship with nature here. I lived as much outdoors as in; as much in my imagination as in the real world. It was all very healing.
And now it’s time to go.
So, the moving guys came and they opened my cabinets and closets and made me feel more naked than if I were standing before them with no clothes on. I saw the tattered remains of my life through their eyes. All the ways I’ve been stingy with myself; my frugality and hesitancy to let go of much; all my coulda-shoulda-woulda-willsomedays. I recognized my compassion in the first guy, my judgment in the second and my complete detachment in the third.
Today, I drew the rooms of my new house to scale on graph paper and cut out little pieces that represented my furnishings. It took me a couple of hours to complete the puzzle to my satisfaction. I made a list designating where each piece of furniture and every box will go on moving day. I also started to throw away things that are from my past life. I even drove to Watsonville to take two boxes to a free shredding event.
At the same time I rediscovered things that got stored and ignored because I had neither the bandwidth nor the available physical space to deal with them; my electronic music equipment being the most notable.
In my new home I will have an entire room dedicated to music and another to creative projects. I am more than doubling my space. I won’t have the trail at the end of my driveway, nor those gorgeous sunsets outside my window, but I will be more interested in what’s going on inside my house than I have been for many years.
There’s more to tell; in particular the story of how I found this new place and what it means to me.
PS – I suspect that the guy who moves me will be the one who connected from his heart; took his time and lingered.
copyright (c) May 2010, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved