With the move to Bozeman at my heels, I have been searching for whatever resources I can on how to do this whole thing. I keep finding all these sites where an outline of the moving process is broken down to give you some tips, keep you on track and provide you with a step by step process. They make everything seems so simple, laid out, and poised. Even Martha Stewart has a packet for moving, all color coded and beautiful and composed. These lists and sites gave me great confidence.
Then the real fun began when I actually rolled up my sleeves and got into it. Now that I am in the nitty gritty, I thought I’d provide an actual list of the step by step process, in all its ugly, beautiful honesty.
3 MONTHS OUT:
We could possibly be moving. Start adjusting brain to possibility of major world shift.
2 MONTHS OUT:
Still no word. Don’t get disappointed, but watch it! Don’t get excited. Either could lead to vast disappointment. Continue juggling act of daydreaming about whizzing down mountain slopes towards a trendy coffee bar, and convincing yourself you still love your old city, despite her wrinkles.
1 MONTH OUT:
MOVE AFFIRMATIVE. PACK ALL THE THINGS. FEEL ALL THE FEELS.
3 WEEKS OUT:
I am so excited. This is the coolest. How do you hire a moving company? What’s being a broker mean? Does anyone actually know the definition of freight? Is masking tape an acceptable packing mechanism? Probably not, but it’s pink, and I really want to use it. How do you post to craigslist? Shit, do we still have time do give a 30 day notice? I need to find a roommate. If I find someone on craigslist housing, will they be a serial killer?
1 WEEK OUT:
This is exhausting. Where’s my list? Didn’t I make a list about that list? Where’s THAT list? Am I a grownup? Whose idea was this? I don’t even like to ski! How is a moving truck going to fit back here? I wonder if that girl I signed a lease with is going to murder me with a toothpick. Maybe she’s the Zodiac. They never found that guy, right? Wait, he’d be like 100 by now. STOP PROCRASTINATING. Pack all the things. Call in mom support. Since when did I accumulate so much shit?? I don’t even remember buying a bread maker. Should I keep all 8 tubes of toothpaste in the bathroom?
NIGHT BEFORE MOVE:
These boxes aint got nothin on me. I AM SPARTACUS. When did my arms get so strong? It must be all those curls I’ve been doing with Andy’s work boots. Is it time for a 9th cup of coffee? There are more boxes than we estimated, but we. will. deal. I can’t wait for a road trip. I’ll get to eat Chic-O-Sticks and bond with my man. And drink more coffee. And pee a lot. And see the seemingly ever expanding countryside that is America. And appreciate how small I am. And start my own story. And make new friends who have a completely different flavored pasts than me. And force Yankees to eat gumbo. And sprinkle love around that town like snow fall.
In the end, it’s all sort of like a boxing match. You start by staring fear down from your corner of the ring, watching it’s every move as it preps from its stool on the ropes to pummel you. Just looking at it gives you a stomach jolting rush of excitement and terror, all at once. The bell rings and the dance starts. At first, your sizing it up, learning its movements, all the while remembering to move your feet, keep light on your toes. Then the battle begins. They take one swing at you, and you might take it on the chin, but you fire back, a quick with your left and a solid with your right. And you just keep that up, follow through after follow through. By the end, you’re bear hugging each other in sheer exhaustion while the audience looks on. Your loved ones are all watching, some screaming their heads off, others watching through laced fingers. “I told her I didn’t want her fighting anymore.”
Who knows what the verdict will be when the bell rings its final toll, and that microphone glides down from the ceiling like a spider on silk web. But that’s the whole point. It doesn’t matter. Through a broken nose and a bleeding brow, you look at fear, wheezing in its own corner, surrounded by a million coaches trying to reassure it with a spit bucket and a sweat towel. Win lose or draw, you have fought the good fight. You refused fear, that tyrant, that autocrat, in all its dictation. You have fought the good fight.