Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thursday Traffic | 5 April

Image via Flickr/Yaniv Golan

Even after my long disappearance from my blog, my Thursday Traffic posts were starting to dwindle. Don't worry though, I have not forgotten them. While I'm not braving the interstate at a steady crawl on an express bus, I am still using my easier commute to think and ponder about the world around me. For a variety of unrelated reasons, I thought a great deal about moving today. It's not that I am planning to move, but it's more the fact that we move all of the time. 

Some of you readers might not know that I've moved to a new place. I'm relatively in the same area, but the difference is that I've moved out on my own. Moving really makes you consider a lot about yourself. During the process, you find several parts of yourself—for example, the part of yourself that wanted to learn the keyboard, and the part of yourself that collected stickers, and the part of yourself that keeps movie ticket stubs.Then, you must decide if you are still that person. In the end, you move without parts of yourself. You give away things that used to define you, and they begin to define someone else.

It's not that things that we own make us into who we are, but it is that things that we own say so much about who we are. Some people own very little, their belongings are essential and minimal. Others hoard things like squirrels before winter, boxes piled up in storage and items tucked into every drawer and corner. During a move though, you must face all of the things in which you have invested. Not just monetary investments like purchases, but time investments (like learning the keyboard) and relationships. Gifts are usually prized, but sometimes you realize that what you have to leave behind even the things that you were given.

Not only is moving a moment to purge bad things and habits from your routine, it also forces you to address everything you call yours. The things that usually remain at the end of a busy move are piles of odds and ends—bits of string, a stray sponge, random little tools that have no home in any set. In many ways, a move is like a partial death. You remove the you of that location to be reborn in the you of the new location. It's the new-location-you that unpacks those memories and treasures and replaces them. Slowly, but certainly, you will begin to redefine who you are. Things that had been left behind during your move might return to the shelves. Things that you were determined to keep with you might be discarded.

Living life and moving are quite the same thing. The only difference is that life has a finite end. At some point, whether you like it or not, your life will be over. Moving can be your decision though. You can choose to end your occupancy of one place at any given time (circumstances permitting). You can redo things that cannot be redone with life. If you decide that you want to be the person that surfs and wakes up early in the morning to do yoga, you can become that person if you make the appropriate moves. Now the only question is, what moves your life? Or should it be, what moves do you want to make with your life?

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