Yesterday I watched my bookshelves, desk and sofa carried out of the house by the total strangers who bought it off of Craigslist. A large red suitcase is sitting smack in the center of my living room, half full of things I want to take with me to Panama. It is mostly clothes because I haven’t had the heart to try to see if my art supplies will fit in there and still give me room for a few changes of clothes. I have to pack my life into two suitcases and a carry-on. I shouldn’t say “have to” but instead I should say “GET to”. There is a beautiful kind of rebirth to all this disrobing of my suburban life of the last four years. All the stuff I have collected going out the door. The stuff just walking out and the rest of it I get to choose what are the truly important parts of my life and what can simply be parted with.
My passport is being renewed. I did the fingerprinting thing today (to apply for residency in Panama, you need a fingerprint FBI report and you can do that at a UPS office) and our landlord is showing the house to potential renters since we are moving out in less than a month. Now, it all feels very real and approaching very, very soon. I am happy about this, though admittedly apprehensive. No matter how adventurous anyone is, tossing your whole life in two suitcases and not having much of a plan after that is a little nerve fraying. And there is so much to do that it all seems a bit overwhelming. Sell everything. Cancel the electric, the cable, the phones… oh God, I can’t take all my books! Now THAT is painful.
The next year is going to be a life changing experience. Moving to another country… even though I lived there before, it all seems very different now, and I feel a bit unprepared because of my four years of cushy (but depressing) life in the American burbs. What Spanish I knew, I have forgotten (and I have had two brain surgeries since then, and it has been hard to remember words in English sometimes, much less Spanish.) I have so much to learn and so many ways to change. It is exciting and yet scary at once. The good kind of scary.
Aside from the international move, I have a big trip planned for next Spring. I’ll talk about that in another post. But, it’s a big three month long trip to Europe, so a lot is going on for me in the next year. Now I just need to pack my things and try to breathe.