All the Little "Things"

I flew home this morning because I wanted to be with my family during this difficult time. I wanted to walk the dog and do the laundry and clean the house, whatever it took to ease my parents’ load and help get life back to normal as quickly as possible.

Somehow, I found myself lying on the couch looking at a Venician plate and thin king about “things.” That plate, the antique apple crates, the thesaurus collection, the silverware… they’re all little “things” that make up a life. They are carefully planned purchases paid off over several months. They are trinkets and gifts bought on romantic getaways. They are family heirlooms.

It kind of got me thinking about my own “things.” Moving every four months or so makes me acutely aware of just how many “things” I own. But they are my life. They are the things I’ve collected throughout my travels. They are the things I’ve purchased with my first paycheck. They are what oftentimes define me. Mostly, they’re books, hundreds of heavy books. But that’s beside the point.

Looking at my parents’ “things,” I started noting unfamiliar trinkets and toys… A new bookcase from my grandmother’s storage, a new dresser, a redesigned bathroom, a new couch and TV, new computers. There are “things” here now that have nothing to do with me.

In a way, I’m slowly disappearing from this house. My senior picture is still in the dining room and I know where the spoons go, but this house is less and less mine. My running shoes no longer sit outside the garage door and my lips have never touched the new glasses. This house is changing just as much as I am.

It makes sense. A lot can happen in the course of a couple years. I’ve changed dramatically and am actually moving into a new place with some incredible women. With them, I’m sure to collect some of my own new “things,” to outfit our apartment with owls and keys and fleur-de-lis (Oh, my!).

Things are just changing. As much as it pains me to say, the world is going on without me. If home truly is where the heart is, then I’m inevitably split between the two coasts. But if home is where my things are, San Diego is slowly fading away.

San Diego Harbor