the unbearable lightness of moving


There is a beauty in moving, an unbelievable freedom in packing away your things and seeing an empty space before you. If you’re like me, you downsize and throw away things that have no use or need anymore. I inherited this from my mother, we moved so much that as a kid that I never was able to make one place home, so we minimized and downsized wherever we went.

I moved to Denton when I was eighteen, and it was such a thrilling feeling! I was on my own and I learned how to help myself and do things completely alone. Things were good and I made friends and had amazing experiences until life happened. And then I wanted to leave but due to circumstances out of my control, I have to stay here until the end of the year. I cannot tell you how much that pains me.

When I was eighteen I promised myself never to stay in a place that made me unhappy, not again, no more towns where it feels like the walls are closing in and I cannot escape.

Unfortunately, it happened, and I began living in a beautiful home with people I did not want to be around and in a town I despised. But I’m still here, for another month and then off to something temporary and then to the world.

I’m trying to remind myself that it will be okay. And as I began packing my things away this week I felt some of that pain ease up.

Everything in this life is painfully temporary, the ground you step on will never be the same again, the memories you desperately cling to will fade away.

The pain in my chest began easing up, as I cleared off my bookshelf I remembered how much fun I had putting it up with Andrew. I found more of Hannah’s old sweaters I realized they were unwashed and still smelled like her. I remembered sitting out on the porch listening to Johnny Cash and drinking PBR. It was okay, it was okay, it was okay.

I remembered the excitement and joy I had once felt and I reveled in that. In the world of Rubab, sometimes it feels hard to remember those feelings or even feel like they exist.

As I put things away I smiled at this room, how lovely it was, how one-day nostalgia will tell me how wonderful this house was and how one day I’ll drive through Denton and miss these moments, even the painful ones.

The little house on Alice St will always hold a place in my heart, after all, it was the first house I ever lived in.

And I looked at the boxes and how they formed a neat little pile in the corner of my room. How they held my DVDs, my books, my old Moleskines, and how easily all of these things could be lost and I would still be okay.

I was eighteen again, ready to move, ready for change, ready for whatever life was going to throw my way.

And then, I was eight again, clutching a worn out stuffed animal and setting him in a spot that will be perfect for him. I was ready for my mom to bring in my books so I could make this tiny bedroom home.

And suddenly, the lightness came back and I felt like I could breathe again.

I am still searching for a home, still searching for a place to rest my bones at night and the journey has only begun.

I may end up living off the coast of Ireland or a small apartment in North Dallas. But I will never break that promise, I will not let myself stagnate in a town that has nothing left to offer me.

If I have to move away and throw away some things, so be it.