July 31, 2006

Moving on up

Today’s lesson: It takes more than two days to pack up the things you accumulate living somewhere for two years. Granted I’ve been gradually cleaning out my apartment and sorting things for about two weeks, but the actual packing didn’t really start until Saturday. It’s now 10:30 p.m. on Monday night and this place still looks far too lived in. My movers come at 8 a.m. (Yes, if you do the math that's in less than 10 hours.) I just hope I’m ready for them.

July 30, 2006

You just can’t help growing up.

I find myself, yet again, at a time where I’m forced to take another step in my life. This time it’s moving on my own in Chicago to a new neighborhood, a new apartment and a whole new set of city life experiences. This all accompanies the new job I got a few months ago. And it also is all very cyclical.

I feel like every summer brings this on. Friends leave. Friends come. Friends move. Family for the most part remains constant. But there is something about the summer months that causes people to want to change their lives - be it through new apartments, new cities, new countries, realizing aspirations of going back to school or sometimes returning to the familiarity of what was left a year ago. Regardless, the summer brings about change.

The evidence of my coming change is mounting in my apartment. My things have amassed - unfortunately through my efforts (not on their own accord) - in the spare bedroom of what on Tuesday is to become my old apartment. I have lived here for two years now. That is the longest I have been in one place prior to high school graduation.

Since moving to Chicago, I’ve collected a lot of things - some good, some useless. I’ve done my best to get rid of anything that falls into the useless category, but in trying to sort through that I’ve come across a lot of things which have made the moves with me time and time again - namely a lot of my old journals which I have kept religiously for the past six years.

Whenever I move, I tend to get a little reminiscent, and I find this ends up being a time where I pour through my old journals. In the midst of packing, I sit and read and become engrossed in the days of my own life and retrace the steps which have led me to where I am today. Sometimes the predictions I made for myself were dead on. Sometimes they were so far off I laugh at my own naivety.

I’ve come a long way. I’ve done a lot. I’ve learned a lot. And I can’t help but feel I didn’t really ask for most of it to happen. It kind of just did, which leads me to realize that you just can’t help growing up. It happens most the time without notice. Time passes, and we continue on going about our lives trying every day to be a little better and do a little more than we did in prior days. And for me, every summer when I usually uproot my own life again, I am reminded from my journals that I have grown up.

Then I close the pages, sit and stare out my window for a moment, shaking my head at the thought of time gone by. And then I continue on packing, because let’s face it, as helpful as my journals are, they aren’t going to box themselves.