Boxes are packed, stacked up high. Like a soldier vying for the opportune time to make a move, I await surrounded within the walls of my boxes of fortress. This has been my existence for the last few months. We put the house on the market, then the house was sold, and then came the waiting. Delay after delay, the closing dates came and went without any fruition, and just as I was about to achieve the unconditional state of peacefulness, I finally got the news that all parties have signed and nothing can block us from moving to our new house.
I’ve moved countless times. I stopped counting because at certain point, the number of times I’ve moved stopped being my accomplishments. It started to represent something that I strived to avoid all my life: my instability.
You know you move too much when your favorite moving company recognizes you and asks firsthand: where are you moving to this time? Or just the fact that your favorite business to frequent is a moving company states a lot. When you are the first person your friends consult with before their moves, you know that you have become an expert in that sort. I remember when all my friends flocked to me after our English test was over to match their answers back in my middle school and high school days in South Korea. It’s something like that, I tell myself, although, I don’t quite feel that sense of pride I used to feel after each of my numerous English exams.
Oh, why does the sun shine so gloriously over this neighborhood now? My green pasture looks greener than usual and all of a sudden, this piece of land resembles something of a heaven on earth. I have flashbacks of our sledding days during our first winter here, and the flower-picking adventures during the spring. We set up an above-ground pool during the summer where we watched the most beautiful sunsets of our life time. Then the fall arrived, and those red maple tree leaves on the driveway gave me such nostalgic feelings. And now it is time to move and pack away all the memories we have made here.
One of my favorite part of moving is this: You get to put a proper closure to that chapter of your life. It’s a process that lends you a small sense of completion. On the closing day, you are not just signing off the paper works that free you from the debt you have initiated when you first purchased the property. You are letting go of the memories. You finally put that final period mark in that chapter of the book you are writing. It’s a release– until you sign your next lease. But still, a huge release.
Once I sold and packed away all my possessions without knowing where I was going to end up. Within two months of signing off my lease that bound me in one place, I was in Hawaii, on the beautiful Big Island. I can’t believe that was more than ten years ago. I was so young and reckless, living out the age that could survive the life unplanned. As I count every possible contrast to this move compared to my move to Hawaii in my twenties, I realize that my style of moving has evolved or matured, should I say. Although I still romanticize about making one more crazy move back to Hawaii (or Korea) before my life on earth ends.
The thing is, what keeps me going (and moving) is the sense that I am floating in the right direction. The hardest thing for me is to stay still at the desolate island I have embarked upon. It’s hard to survive an island. And at the end of the stillness, If I still have my will to travel and continue on this journey of the big life I am given to live, then the door to move forward opens up and you finally get to say goodbye to your, what is now, a beloved island.
The time has finally come for me to set sail again. I am back to floating toward the direction life has chosen for me. It will be yet another long journey I am sure. But if it means I am getting close to my destiny, I will cross a thousand more oceans.