This evening Zsolt and I removed nearly all the boxes from our apartment. We’ve been holding onto these boxes ever since moving from England, if not longer.
Cockroach Update: The exterminator came round today and laid a paste in various/many locations of the apartment. That’s right, you read correctly – Exterminator. Turns out the entire building has a cockroach problem, so the landlord is tackling each flat. I haven’t at all built a ‘community through cockroaches’ (excepting a 1 minute conversation in the corridor today that involved three opened doors with heads sticking out as we all exchanged with the exterminator about the problem), but at least the issue is being handled throughout the building.
Sending our boxes into the light.
So this evening Zsolt and I packed up the boxes to be put out for recycling. Apparently cockroaches like the cardboard glue. It just felt so strange to let these pieces of corrugated cardboard go . . . like I totally didn’t want to, like somehow I’d assigned emotions to these boxes and getting rid of them was cutting me off.
But what emotions could they be? Attachment to England? The feeling of not yet being home (since we’ve been storing boxes ever since moving to the UK, where they hid on top of closets, under the bed and behind the sofa)? The lack of moving ease?
I’ll psychoanalyze myself a moment, and say that for nearly the past seven years Zsolt and I have become accustomed to being transient. The idea that we would stay put – in one flat, for a long period of time really does feel bizarre. Like, could this place be home? Are we home? Can a place you rent be home, aren’t we not home until we buy our property? But there go the boxes – out into the street for the recycling truck to collect.
We’re transient without anywhere to go, or any means to easily get there. So maybe we should just change mental modes and instead be ‘settled’ . . . settlers, who settle, and grow tomato plants and get to know their neighbours in a way that actually sticks.
Well . . . I don’t know. The cockroaches have forced us to get rid of the moving boxes. We have to accept being here. I guess in a way that’s one step closer toward community, eh?
The boxes are going.
We are staying.
The cockroaches must die.
3 thoughts on “Moving the Moving Boxes”
I find that it gets harder to make new friends as we get older. I think we don’t want to bother people, and assume they already have enough friends. It’s hard to constantly start over, and you need to give yourself time to adjust to your new environment. Try looking around your town for groups to join. Are you guys avid outdoors people? Try checking out your local outdoors store for a hiking club. Take a class together at the local college. Or check out the local cafe’s bulletin board for happenings around town. The more you can get involved, the faster your new country will fee like home.
Another idea? host a holiday open house and invite all your neighbors. This way you will be able to get to know everyone in a casual, fun setting. I wish you much luck!
Isn’t it cool that the exterminator didn’t come until you thought about getting rid of the cockroaches? I like to think that YOU made this happen through your thoughts.
The cockroaches also forced you to recycle those boxes; make a fresh new start where you clear out what is no longer needed. That’s good energy.
It seems that you have already decided that your neighbours are cool people and that you want to meet them. Could the resistance be a fear of being judged or of not wanting to bother people? If you really want to meet your cool neighbours, a smile, a hello, a question, a good deed is enough to open the door. You and Zsolt make a delightful couple.
I am a private person and am not inclined to want to meet my neighbours. I have met my neighbours either because the ones who moved in came over to ask for advice, “Who did your roof for you?” or because the ones who moved in are friendly and wanted to introduce themselves, or because I met their cat or their dog and I started a conversation because I like animals, or because they were new to the neighbourhood and had small kids, so I took over candy for the kids at Halloween.
The onus is on you to make it happen. Make the effort and it will reward you with new friendships.
Having made a big move not that long ago, I can identify – interestingly, we found our neighbours here pretty unfriendly but have made friends (slowly) in other ways….joining a choir and a montain bike riding group, that kind of thing. One thing we left behind in Sydney were the hideous Sydney cockroaches – good luck!!!