Friday, August 13, 2010

A Sense of Belonging, or Finding My Keys

A collection of our belongings, in between locations two and three.

Three months ago, one of the first things that forced me to recognize that we were really moving was the absence of keys
. One by one those keys disappeared: first a couple for my school, then another for my gym locker. Subtract the apartment keys, then one car key and then the other, and all of the sudden I was left with a ring that was...empty.

I felt like I didn't belong anywhere.

It was funny to reflect on feeling so displaced. If I don't have the "key" to anything, did I not have the "right" to anything either?

House sitting over the past two months has caused me to reflect on these ideas once again. We gather our things (or rather, I gather them while Curtis is at work and they magically appear at the next location for him) and relocate to someone else's house to take care of someone else's stuff (or animals, as it may be). Meanwhile our belongings remain tucked away in boxes, not needed when we reside for weeks at a time in furnished houses, forcing us to operate on minimal levels. None of the things in the house belong to us, and yet we use it for a short time in order to continue our existence.

In every move things seem to get lost or broken. Paperwork is misplaced; soap is left behind. Earrings are lost; clothes are wrinkled....again. It makes everything about our possessions feel a bit more temporary, a bit less valuable. And as we enter our third month of living in places that aren't our own, I am beginning to think it's been a bit cleansing.

Lately I have been accumulating keys once again. It started with a car key, which was joined by the key to a bike lock, a house key, and then another. Last week I was given a classroom key and the keys to multiple filing cabinets. But be it because of our constant migration, or the fact that the Tinkerbell key on my chain is to a house I will never call my own, I hold my keys a bit more loosely now.

Even as we continue to peak into boxes for various items of need, I am content with a bit less, having acclimated to a much simpler existence. And I hope that as the summer fades into fall, and our migration shifts into a settling-in of sorts, I don't forget how to hold my possessions--as temporary fragments--that in the big scheme of things are relatively insignificant.


  1. are you any closer to a place of your own?

  2. I love this post lady! One of my favorite things about moving here was getting rid of all my "stuff". Of course, I have now started to accumulate plenty more "stuff" again, but it was nice to be living a bit more simplistically while it lasted!