Notes On Packing: Or, How Am I Going to Fit 1 Year of My Life in 3 Suitcases?

Luckily, I don’t have this much baggage. … Nearly, though.

Photo by kthread

I’ll be the first to admit that I have a problem. Well, maybe more like two or three problems. As I sit here on my bed surrounded by postcards, ticket stubs, half of pairs of socks, six pairs of jeans and books I never read while playing a game called TAKE, TOSS or STORE, my problems are impossible to ignore and borderline embarrassing. And the first step is admitting to that problem, right? Here goes.

Problem #1: I’m a chronic overpacker. Let me put it this way: I went home for three weeks at Christmas and came back with an extra bag, bringing my suitcase total up to 4. For the return trip, I’m attempting to limit myself to the use of two suitcases, while leaving one (the largest one) stored here for my return in the fall. This has made me realize that I own a lot of clothing… But I never have anything to wear. Huh, the conundrum of being a girl. This leads into…

Problem #1.5: I like having stuff. Now, I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m materialistic, but I like things. When I get paid, I enjoy spending my money on clothes, books, magazines, shoes — pretty much, anything and everything I absolutely don’t need. I recognize this needs to stop, and recently it has, but not before I accumulated so much stuff in this apartment that I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it.

Photo by Drew Coffman

Problem #2: I’m a hoarder. The most difficult part of this packing extravaganza is sorting through everything I own, one year’s worth of stuff!, and deciding what to do with it. And guess what? I hate parting with nearly everything. I’ve managed to fill my bedroom in Michigan with movie ticket stubs, pictures I took in middle school of people I no longer talk to, magazines and random party favors. Spending a year in Europe has given me an extraordinary opportunity to collect useless brochures, un-sent postcards, train ticket stubs, cards/postcards/letters people sent to me and everything in between. In this case, I don’t keep these things just because I like them, but because it has true sentimental value to me. Tossing the souvenirs in the trash bag makes me sad.

So I sit here, surrounded by my life and memories of this year, with my apartment in shambles and I am perplexed. I’m not sure how I’m ever supposed to fit everything into a few suitcases, and I wonder how my assistant friends are faring with this packing business.

Photo by zenobia_joy

But mark my words: I’m going to get home and streamline this process for next year. First step, be able to strap my life on my back. Then… try to take over the world. Or something like that.

Do you have problems packing, too? Or do you think I’m insane? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time…
Cheers,
Alaina

Life, oh Life!

Today has been an interesting day. After having a great class in the morning and OK class in the middle of the day, I was oh-so-happy to end my day with the WORST CLASS I HAVE EVER HAD. I’ve had these kids nearly every week since I started, but they’ve never really warmed up to me.

For the past 3 weeks, I’ve had the whole class together (it usually splits in two) two times a week. So, today, while the kids refused do what I specifically asked them to and they talked back to me, the teacher sat there and did nothing. Absolutely nothing. In fact, she seems to think it’s funny when the kids don’t pay attention and talk among themselves. It was wonderful.

On my walk home, I decided, once and for all, that I never want to be a teacher. Sure, I love teaching the classes full of kids excited to learn, who ask questions and listen when I talk (like the class I started my day with), but the bad classes, full of little shits, just ruin everything. Today has even led me to question whether I want to stay in this position next year, (that is, if I’m offered a job). Anyway, I’m going to have to give these kids a verbal beat-down auf Deutsch when I have them next week — nothing else has worked.

Further, to make this day better, I received an email from a hotel that I thought would hire me (Frankie had referred me, and is working there this summer). Turns out, they have nothing to offer me. So, it’s looking more and more likely I’ll be home in Michigan this summer, which, thankfully, is also seeming less and less horrible.

I’ll admit: I miss Michigan. I miss my family and friends and dogs. I miss having money in my bank at the end of each pay cycle. I want to have a place/home that I will live in for  more than 8 months and I want to start a “real life.” But I know most of these sentiments will change once a plan of action is in place — so functions my tiny, flighty, fickle brain.

Blah. Just blah. It’s one of those days where I question everything going on in my life. Maybe one of these days, everything will make sense and there will be a big lightbulb and angels singing. Until then, you’ll get to read about all of my messes here. 🙂

Cheers,
Alaina