Another terrific writing group last night- and again I am posting the short writing I finished during group. I love that I am at least writing and even better- I am meeting cool new people who I will be able to socialize in person with soon too! I hope you enjoy!
During six years schlepping around the globe, I became accustomed to not having “things.” There was no room in my medium sized suitcase and small backpack for souvenirs, so I bought bracelets and became the bangle lady. My clothes were a simple uniform of sorts, two or three comfortable and serviceable skirts, a variety of tank tops in neutral colors to mix and match, Birkenstock sandals, yoga pants, and a lightweight sweatshirt with a beaded sugar skull on the back. Yeah, that was pretty much it. To the stash of two bras, and a small stockpile of plain cotton panties, I splurged and added one or two cute lacey items, I mean, they didn’t take up that much room and one never knew when they might come in handy.
The thing is, since I’ve been back living in the US full-time, I’ve been gathering things around me like a super-strength magnet. I have a wine bar full of my favorite reds and at least 12,000 plants. My panties and bras are spread out over two drawers each and I have a special place for the “extra cute” things. My closet, a walk in California style masterpiece, is full of cute summer dresses I’ve been stockpiling in anticipation of a hot girl summer. I don’t even own Birkenstocks anymore, instead at least six pairs of cute sandals line the floor waiting for the sun to shine!
And my kitchen! Good Lord! The one thing I put away in storage when I left my husband and started on the adventures that took me around the world, was my stash of kitchen supplies! Now I have a pantry full of gadgets and gizmos, pots and pans, and fancy chef’s knives. As if that weren’t enough, I had to buy more! (Though admittedly the Ninja food processor/blender combo I just had to have, is still in a box over the fridge!)
Now when I want to go somewhere new, I can’t just pack it all up and go, I have to make choices, decide what to bring and what to leave out. How many pairs of sandals do I need? I used to travel with one, but now that I have more, don’t I have a little room to bring a few with me? This dress is super cute and even though we don’t wear anything but black in Berlin, maybe the post pandemic summer calls for a pink flowery frock or a red over shirt? How’s a girl to decide? And my plants? Who will water them when I am gone and my car probably should be checked and and … it all feels a bit overwhelming.
Having so much stuff has been a mental and emotional process since I’ve started to accumulate. I’ve had to give myself permission to live again like an American with a home and a car (two if you count the one my mom lent me which is still here waiting for me to pack a bag – see above- and bring it back to her.) It’s felt weird to buy something as simple as an under the cabinet rack to help organize my stuff because A- I have stuff and B- I am not wasting money organizing someone else’s space. This is my space now. It’s a space intentionally designed to share with others, to make new friends and grow a new life, to help me settle in and become part of a new community. It’s all that I have and as hard as it’s been to remember and accept, it’s ok for me to have everything I want.
You might also like these posts about my travels: