Why I Hate (but Secretly Love) Moving

I hate moving. Obviously.

I have moved literally every single year since 2007. For those of you keeping track at home, that’s seven straight years of packing up virtually all of my worldly possessions, putting them in boxes (read: garbage bags), storing them, shipping them, driving them, flying them, and/or losing them across various parts of the country.

I’ve moved to, from, and within Washington D.C., Boston, and Indiana. Multiple times. I’m currently six weeks away from moving to New York. And next summer, I’ll probably move again. Why? Because God hates me.

I hate everything about moving—even the packing tape. I hate the heavy lifting, and I really hate feeling like a pussy for not being able to lift a forty pound box. I hate the pride-swallowing endeavor of asking my roommate help me with said box, and I despise the exorbitant charges on my credit card for U-Hauls and UPS shipping.

But somewhere deep down, I secretly love it. I’m talking really, really deep—like an Inception dream within a dream… within another dream. Like the Marianas Trench of my subconscious.

Like when your sister’s stoner boyfriend says some crazy shit like “We’re all just a bunch of kayakers floating down the river of life.” That deep.

I secretly love it because, even though moving sucks (to put it lightly), it does give me the chance to do things I wouldn’t normally do otherwise.

For instance, I get to enjoy the annual ritual of sorting through that massive pile of papers that have accumulated in my desk like lawsuits against Lil Wayne. Yes, I might have to subject myself to rereading electric bills, bank receipts, and pay stubs—but I also get to reread letters and birthday cards from family members and old girlfriends. Some make me smile, some make me cringe, and some I finally decide to throw away.

Lather, rinse, and repeat next year.

You see, moving is strangely cathartic for me. It allows me to do something that everyone should do at least once a year: to take stock. It’s important to reflect on where you came from, where you are now, and where you’re going. And for whatever reason, that task is much easier when you condense everything that you own into four ragged boxes.

More importantly, I find it’s important to treat myself to a good purge every now and again. Whether it’s spring cleaning, unfriending fifty “friends” on Facebook, or hugging porcelain as I projectile vomit the salmonella-laden Thai food I just ate, “purging” is an important ritual that keeps one’s life free of unnecessary clutter. And moving is the perfect opportunity to throw away all the crap that I’ve gathered over the past year.

But most importantly, moving allows me to decide what I want to keep. In my most recent move, I decided to throw out six hole-ridden tee shirts that I never wore, but allowed myself to keep my autographed Aaron Hernandez jersey. Why? Because maybe I’ll have a place for it in my new place. Maybe I’m still holding onto the hope that he’ll make a Vick-esque comeback and play in the league again someday (though I’ve been informed that killing dogs isn’t the same as killing people). Maybe I haven’t let go of Aaron yet.

Regardless of its incidental benefits, moving still sucks. Don’t let my Stockholm syndrome fool you—moving is right up there with surgical dental procedures, waterboarding, and Tuscaloosa. But, as Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Everything has benefits—even the guy who takes shits on my front lawn. So the least you can do is try to take advantage of them.”

Title Photo Credit:flickr