Yesterday, I took yet another grand sideways leap in my never-ending Looney-Tunes-Wacky-Race of a life and bid au revoir to The Land of Enchantment. As of last night, I am an official resident of Colorado. I was planning on the move before they legalized it. I swear.
It’s going to take a little while to get over the new-ness of it all. I have a feeling I’m going to spend the next week having nightmares of waking up stuffed in a burlap sack in the back of an El Camino being driven back to Santa Fe by all my old employers because lighting designers in Santa Fe are apparently as easy to find as a Black Panther at a Florida Georgia Line concert. Not to mention the overwhelming personal sadness from saying goodbye to the people and place that, for better or worse, made me the
man child I am today. Lots of feels this week. That’s for sure.
But this isn’t about waxing poetic on the fleetingness of time or human relationships. Leave that shit for the poets. This is about highlighting what is probably the worst part of the moving process, which is Moving Anxiety.
To some people, moving is an exciting time of transition as you gather up all your belongings and pick up your roots and jet across the country in that eternal American spirit of exploration and discovery. These people are not human. Do not trust them. To people that aren’t on heavy medication, moving is the most fucking miserable personal experience a person can go through that doesn’t involve death, surgery, or the post New Years-hangover. This is because whereas moving is a Long Island Iced Tea of stressors and life problems that ABSOLUTELY MUST BE RECTIFIED BEFORE YOU LEAVE OR ELSE. The first, and most pressing problem is:
1. You Never Have Enough Time
No amount of planning can prepare you for a move. It doesn’t matter if you start the process a year in advance and enlist experts from the Pentagon to assist you. You will be sending those same Pentagon officials into your house on the very last day in a rabid panic because GODFUCKING DAMNIT WE FORGOT TO CLEAN THE WINDOWSILLS.
A weird thing happens in the human brain when you’re moving. As your world slowly becomes stuffed into more and more boxes, your brain loses the ability to prioritize. If a fire were to break out in the house during my final day of moving, I would just leap through the flames so I could keep packing my records. You always assume that moving simply consists of throwing your stuff in a thing with wheels, making a couple phone calls, and getting the fuck out of dodge after throwing a raging going away party that makes Project X look like your grandma’s bingo hall. This is perfectly doable as long as you have a functioning clone that you can send to social excursions while you rot away in the Cardboard Hell that you have created for yourself. And of course, you have no one to blame but yourself because:
2. You Have Way Too Much Stuff
This isn’t a personal attack on you, dear reader. We all have too much stuff. Seeing approximately five hundred ugly montages of landfills in elementary school left me and many other millenials with a powerful subconscious aversion to throwing things away. That’s why the phrase “WHY DO WE HAVE THIS?!” is the most common phrase uttered/screamed in existential agony while moving. As time wears on, you lose your humanity and become Judge Dredd for your possessions, delivering snap judgements and delivering
death trash sentences to the belongings that, months ago, you thought were going to follow you all the way to retirement.
When I was growing up, my family would hire a moving company for one of our bi-annual moves across the country. To Young Corbin, a moving company seemed pointless when you could just pack stuff yourself. Young Corbin was Stupid Corbin. It wasn’t until just recently that I realized moving companies exist because they can do this stuff ten times better and more efficiently than your dumb, useless ass could ever imagine. To anyone reading this that has ever worked for a moving company: You have done God’s work. The world thanks you. To those of you choosing to do it yourself: Your courage is admirable, but the struggle is not even close to over. Because once you have disposed of half your belongings and clown-car’d the rest into your car in a miracle of physics that baffles even Stephen Hawking, you still have:
3. The Cleaning. Oh God, The Cleaning.
Just like packing your stuff makes you question why you own things in the first place, cleaning your house makes you question why you bother having pets, children, friends, food, etc. “What’s the point of having a life if you have to clean up after it?” is a frequent recurring thought. As each bionic stain is eradicated, new ones appear almost instantly like a shitty, annoying dirt Hydra. You tackle each mess with increasing importance as you picture your landlord (who, for the sake of argument, is Hans Gruber from Die Hard) surveying the house and it’s many new flaws before calling in a surgical missile strike to destroy it and rebuild a new one in its place. Shortly afterwards, they will dispatch murderous bounty hunters from Mad Max to track you and your money down to pay for it. Fucking Hans.
To prevent this, you ditch your normal day-to-day life and become Captain Janitor. Your house, which once held the delightful scents of candles, firewood, and last night’s beer now reeks of Formula 409 and Pledge. If you do all your cleaning correctly, your home should have the same antiseptic sparkle to it that you would find in your average operating room at the Mayo Clinic. The worst part of all of this is that there is no moving company to help you. It is all you. If you leave something fucked, your rental company (because who the fuck owns a house anymore?) will continue chipping away at your security deposit (also known as the Homeowner’s Bulletproof Vest) until there is nothing left. I was having nightmarish visions of my house sprouting wings and flying after my car as I left like The Thief of Always, vomiting the remaining dirt, sludge, and trash all over me as I made my escape.
In summation, this has been a long and trying week for myself. I am glad that it’s finally over and I can work on moving to the next step (Coming Soon, Entry 56: Being Unemployed). And to those of you in Santa Fe that ever feel the missing pangs of friendship, come visit me! God knows I’m not going anywhere else soon.