Unpacking After a Trip In Your Thirties

I just red eyed home after a thirty day work stint in New Orleans, LA, and San Francisco. I feel like the great warm state of California and the incredible city of New Orleans should have left me feeling refreshed but instead I feel in need of a break. A home break, not a travel break.

When I get back to New York after a work trip, I always feel excited and relieved. But I feel especially excited and relieved during the holidays, in December, when my little studio apartment feels like a box of love and light.

This morning, my body kind of ached to stay in my apartment and do nothing. The want was strong for money to just flow to me so I don’t need to travel for it anymore. My unpacked suitcase looked so neat in the corner of my home- I usually unpack right away, but this time I left my bag and slept.

I lit a candle tonight as I unpacked. I removed my items slowly and mechanically from their balled up state. I moved slowly through the evening, my body heavy. I wasted a lot of time attempting to bake a lone sweet potato that didn’t cook through. So I made a mess of things attempting to mash it. This sums up my time in my little bachelorette apartment. The remains of my laundry stayed on the floor as I shoveled sweet potato in my mouth and rushed out the door to see a play.

The evening is cold and bright. Holiday lights sparkle on balconies. My winter boots and puffy jacket are wrinkled from summer storage but they’re so warm and feel so good. I wonder where I put my winter hats.

There’s a lot to do and I need a break. There’s a lot of work ahead. Some good work. And a lot of people ahead. All good. A lot of holidays ahead. And I feel relieved. I feel overwhelmed. I feel dazzled. I feel distinctly New York.

And I have unpacked. I am home. This is what melancholy is to me. And I’m filled with surrender. Im filled with joy.

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The Paradox of the Unpacked Box in Your Thirties

I’ve been thinking a lot about boxes lately. This is probably because I just moved.

There are boxes all over my new apartment, most of them still neatly taped up. I’ve been beyond exhausted this month, as I talked all about in my last post, Is The Saturn Return In your Thirties A Real Thing?  So, the last thing I’ve wanted to do is unpack. image

This is unlike me, as I usually like to get things done fast, and all at once. But it seems I used the last of my energy to get the boxes packed, and now I can only stare at them listlessly and hope for them to magically put themselves away.

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Alas, it’s been four days in the new place, and nothing has put itself away yet. So today I decided to crack open a bunch of boxes.

And everything got a lot more messy.

The nice stack of boxes all sealed and piled up was so much neater than the messy pile of clothes and nonsense that I pulled out and didn’t know where to put.

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And for awhile I just wanted to put it all back into the boxes again and seal them up. Or I wanted to jump to the end and have everything all be done.

The hardest part is being in the middle of the unpacking process (still there now), where I have to make things more chaotic in order to progress.

Tonight, I was talking to a friend about how if you’re feeling sad or upset, you need to feel your feelings and express them in order to grow and move on from them. And to move through them. Fake positivity all the time just leaves you in a state of stagnation and  annoys all your Facebook friends.

Then I thought about the boxes, and how in your thirties, all you want is to feel like you’re on top of things and like you have things figured out. You want things to be neat and squared away. Boxed away, perhaps? But the real truth is that in order to get things squared away for real, you have to get messy and uncomfortable. It’s not going to feel good and is not going to look good when you take things out and they get everywhere for awhile. And maybe people will judge you when you’re in the middle of that. But screw those people. You have to unpack the neat boxes, get messy, and see what’s inside.

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It’ll likely look like chaos and maybe feel even worse, but only then can you begin to put it away.

And move beyond it.

What are some of the boxes in your life?

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