|Milky way beyond the edge of Egypt's colossal Black and White desert|
At this moment I am clearing up things at my old apartment, and I somehow feel very sad. Yet about what, I cannot articulate. I've moved a few times in my life, at the age of 18, 22, 24, 25, 26 … Gosh, thank god that I have a home now. But still, I can foresee I will be moving to new places in the future. I may even have to live in this fashion throughout my life, given the nature of my job.
When I was young, moving seemed painless. Going to collage, graduating, working in ethnic Yunnan, studying in heavenly Hawaii, all these changes I embraced with excitement and hope. Since when is moving such a sad thing? All those sorting, discarding, packaging, re-using boxes - I need to travel multiple times back and forth for a lack of boxes, storing things in my new apartment and at the same time letting the furniture ventilate … that's too much for me to take in only a few days, especially when I am still working and have to deal with an uncooperative chief worker.
The physical labor is bad. The sentiment that comes with it is worse. Maybe it's a bad idea to start with the books. Over the years, I've thrown away many books when I move. All my college textbooks are gone. This time, I started to throw away books I hadn't yet read, or ones bought in my teen years, read once but unlikely to be touched again. Some of them were tough decisions. You know, throwing them away sort of feels like throwing away life. I had to give up some clothes too. There were ones I had brought to Egypt, never wore and brought back to China. I remember the days I did wear them. Those were a long time ago. They still look decent, but I've stopped wearing them. Maybe it's just the habit of picking newer things from the wardrobe.
All of a sudden, I felt so wasted. I started to reflect on my life. I can't seem to find anything meaningful, any thing I truly rejoiced in. And I lamented the passage of time. Gone with it, is my passion for life, appreciation for beauty, and all the people who I had laughed and sweat with. I miss Elaine and Christine. Although they are only a phone call away, but it's social etiquette not to call them just to say hello. I miss the days I could just walk across the hall to hang out with them, and some silly sitcom was enough to make us giggle away. I guess what truly I miss is a young heart. I feel life has leveled off for me.
I thought of you. All these years, you've been in my life. You have always shown me the strength and power of a young heart. When I said you are always a boy to me, I sincerely meant it. I recall you taught me that it's the small things that make life good, like a sniff on a flower, a delicious meal with loved ones, a walk around the lake, a little money to a street artist … Did you know till this day, I stop to smell flowers from time to time? I may look very strange to people passing by, but I thank you for showing me this simple way of appreciating life.
I started this email while cleaning out my cupboard at home. Now I am at a training academy in a northern suburb, where I am going to train for two days on news editing before returning to the moving business. It's a beautiful all-inclusive compound, cafeteria, garden, swimming pool. However, all of these seem so earthly to me. I guess I need you to be here, to smell a flower with me, to walk through the garden with me, to give me a reassuring hug and tell me everything will be just right.
Dear Ken, how did you feel when you packed up and moved to a new place. Did you also think of crazy things like I do?
Wish you were here,
You are a sensitive and nostalgic girl, so it is natural for you to feel a bit emotional, but you need to remember that change is the only constant in life, and we all have to accept it, but it is often difficult to embrace, especially as we age.
In addition to these points, you have entered the "real life" ~ you have responsibilities and need to deal with the hassles of life; working, paying bills and dealing with others, including dealing with people that may not be such nice people and some of those individuals may have power over us, which makes life not so joyful. Plus, you have had some issues with your new place that haven't always gone smoothly to add more stress to your life.
You are also missing the joy of youth and the freedom it gives you. When we are younger there are so many things to look forward to and at a younger age we have a positive and optimistic view of the future. As we get older and acquire more life experience, we are less positive and hopeful about the future.
I have moved so many times and one of the difficult things is planning what to keep and what to leave behind, but as we get older we pick up more and more things, which makes it that much more difficult to know what to give up and what to hang on to. Every time I move, I find I have more and more stuff to move. And it never gets easier !
I do thank you for your kind words, and I still believe it is the little things in life that make life enjoyable. I still stop to smell flowers and watch children or animals at play, and yeah, I still like a good meal with friends and I am a hiker so walking in a natural place is always a joy !
Focus on the little things in life that make you happy, and do your best to deal with the struggles of life, and I think you can phone your friends and send emails too ! ;-)
Take care and be happy,