Since I’m leaving Ocala tomorrow, I guess it’s appropriate that I start packing tonight. Better late, than never, right? As I find myself examining clothing and musing, “this material might be hard to handwash” (yes, I will have to handwash all of my clothes), the ever-present question in the back of my mind has been…How does one pack for a year?
The obvious answer is “I don’t know.” One look at the chaos in my living room could easily tell you that. Strewn about everywhere are my clothes, walmart bags full of miscellaneous necessities, my backpacker’s backpack, Janey’s Chacos (for my fellow Floridians, a rugged sandal that is popular in mountainous areas, like North Carolina) that I’m conveniently stealing from her, and more. But when it comes down to it, it’s all just “things”.
If there’s anything I’ve learned about myself in the past few weeks, it’s that I really dislike “things.” I suppose I should backtrack a bit to fill some of you in…On August 6th, I moved out of my college apartment in Tallahassee. This was sad, in many ways, as I am lucky enough to be able to count my roommates among my best friends; saying goodbye to our life and memories in University Village, apartment 207, was more difficult than I can really describe.
The surprisingly easy part, though, was packing. Or, in the interests of being specific—it was easy once I decided I didn’t really want anything I had. As I struggled to pack things—purses, shoes, decorations, nick nacks, you name it—all of the clutter with which we are accustomed to filling our lives—I realized I didn’t want any of it. Which resulted in me donating most of my earthly possessions to Goodwill. Many things—furniture, kitchenware, etc—I was happily able to give to my roommate, Levity, who, having just moved into a house, will actually use most of it. And hopefully think about her roomie when she does :)
I moved home to Ocala with nothing more to show for the past 4 years than my 2 diplomas, a bunch of clothes, books (none of which I could bring myself to give away), my dog, and miscellaneous items of sentimental value.
It was freeing, really, giving away all the aforementioned items that didn’t make the Ocala cut, especially knowing that someone else might have a greater need for them than I do. And most of all, it reaffirmed for me that the most important things in life aren’t things at all.
For now, back to packing I go. I’ll leave you with a bit of advice that doesn't exactly apply to me but is given to India YAVs on the generic suggested packing list. “For men, if you’re a boxers man, bring a year’s supply. If you’re a briefs man, bring a year’s supply. If you’re a brightly colored bikini-briefs guy, welcome to underwear heaven.”