Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My Favorite Things in Three Giant Suitcases

Imagine every one of your favorite things in your home. Julie Andrews did "My Favorite Things" right with this catchy song but I would have to challenge the "These are a few..." part. If I re-did the classic song my way, well let's just say it would take much more than a few minutes and an overzealous nannie. Think of each comfy blanket, old memento, gorgeous dress, funny poster, framed picture, sexy pair of shoes, dirty hat, and perfect pillow. Each drawer in your room is filled with tiny slices of you and your past. Every closet opens up to a world of possibilities and memories of the great times had. (Narnia!?) Your floor holds the weight of a thousand steps and all the adventures that accompanied them. Your ceiling traps the laughter inside so it will forever ring in your ears.

Do a 360 in the middle of your floor. You will feel your niche as it swirls and surrounds you with confidence and security. Your 'favorite things' are your material impact on the world. The choices you have made (good and bad), the people that have loved or left you, the best and worst memories of your life.. the 'favorite things' are the physical reincarnation of your many experiences. Too philosophic, you think?? Well, I agree. However, at some point almost all of us have had to pack up, move away, and start over with just the few precious items we have chosen to remind us of the past and to represent us in the future. What items have stayed with you no matter where you have moved or traveled to? A letter from a teenage love, a pillow cross-stitched by your grandmother, the field hockey jersey you scored so many goals in, a poster of your favorite painting... Each of the items we carry throughout our lives brings us closer to home, to ourselves, to love, and most of all to the people we want to be.

My struggle this week is deciding which of my many 'favorite things' will be allowed to go with me across the pond. For a whole year, I will take two suitcases, a carry-on and a backpack. Also, I think I'm going to have to ship a box or two... So, with these restrictions I have really been forced to narrow down my options of taking my whole 'life' with me. My 'favorite things' list has been cut drastically and to be honest, it is a bit upsetting. I've got pictures of friends and family that have been next to my bed since I was young.. sure, they can fit into a side pocket of a suitcase. I've got concert posters that I would be sad to wake up without.. maybe I can roll them and stuff into the bottom of a bag. I've got an entire four-poster bed that I need to have for a perfect night's sleep... okay, yeah that is just not happening.

While I am pining over all the 'favorite things' I will not be able to slam into a suitcase, a dear friend has given me a tip.. bring just a few things that remind me of home (aka mostly pictures!) and then buy a few things once I get there to spice up my flat. It sounds so simple, I know.. It will be the perfect connection of old and new.. "where I've been and where I'm going". I love this advice because it will lead me to build a list of London 'favorite things' that are tightly joined to the fabulous experiences that I will have over there. Letting go of a few old things and allowing new things to enter is going to be great for me. After all, isn't that what moving (read: moving on) is all about??

Our world encourages mass materialism and puts so much weight on us to 'have enough stuff' and 'have the right stuff'. Your 'favorite things' do not buy into this societal pressure and I do not believe they should. Our 'favorite things' consist of items that would mean just about nothing to the everyone else but they mean the world to us. Our 'favorite things' bring us hope in times of fear, sight in the darkness, and memories that spur us onward to make new, wonderful, and exciting memories.. and these new memories allow for even more 'favorite things' to be added to our ever-growing song.

Cheers y'all, Lis

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