Sep 13, 2013

pieces of me

I've been sorting through all of my personal belongings this week, narrowing down the things that I want to bring with me onto the boat.  And then narrowing them down again.  And again.  Rooms like the kitchen, bathroom, office... the stuff in there is easier to get rid of or pack up.  Most of it we wouldn't even consider bringing with us anyway.  But then, I get to the bedroom.  My closet, my bookshelf, my nightstand... these places are where I keep the things that mean the most to me.  And as I work on trying to pack those up (this part is taking a really long time), and decide what to bring with me, I'm trying to ask myself, "what is going to help me feel like me?"  You know, like the favorite shirt that you've had for years that you could still wear over and over again.  It's comfortable and it makes you feel at home.  When we move onto the boat, we are leaving so much behind in the search for something amazing.

But honestly, that is totally not like me.  At all.  Most of the time, when I think about it, my chest gets a little tight, and my heart starts to race.  Mostly, because there's still so much to do in a short amount of time.  But also, because it's just plain scary to me.  And unknown.  And I can't even bring those things, like that safety blanket you had when you were little, that make me feel at home.

As silly as it sounds, sometimes the overwhelmingness of it all makes me cry.

And then I get over it, and I get back to work weeding through my stuff.  Because I do know, when I'm thinking straight, that these things aren't worth crying over.  And I realize that I can make enough room for a few little pieces of me.  Like my sketchbook that's been lying in the bottom of a drawer for far too long.  And my pencils.  And I get excited thinking about how much joy drawing used to bring me, and how many new sights I'll be able to put down in that sketchbook.

And it's things like that, that make me feel like myself again.

a self portrait dated 10/19/05

So, I really want to know, what makes you feel like you?  If you could only take a few of your possessions with you for the next several months, or really any undisclosed amount of time, what would those things be?

30 comments:

  1. I would bring my old journals and a fresh one to record new memories. There's something comforting about looking back and noticing how much you've changed in moments you feel like everything has remained the same.
    I found your blog yesterday through Story of My Life and I am so excited to read more from you! Your posts are so sweet and personable.
    Alicia
    thefindingyears.blogspot.com

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    1. Journals are definitely a great idea. I've never bee too good at keeping one regularly, but if ever there was a time to start, this would be it!
      Thank you so much for saying so! :)

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  2. First of all, WOW to the drawing. That looks awesome. So impressed. Second of all, this is a great question. I'm going to have to think about it before I can answer.

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  3. What a lovely portrait! Ive recently started getting back into drawing, but I cannot say I'm anywhere near as good at that. I love it! So perfect for today's post.

    Bonnie Rose | A Compass Rose - An Expat Lifestyle blog

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  4. oh gosh, this reminds me of last summer sorting through my life to pack 2 measly suitcases for our move to Taiwan. it's REALLY hard, but I'm glad you're finding little pieces of you to bring along. my cameras, my journal, a few special necklaces... and my Husband I think would be the most basic essentials for me.

    and I'm excited to see more sketches too!

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    1. Oh, you know exactly what it feels like then... except you were anticipating an even longer stay!
      Definitely the husband. :)

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  5. that's a really lovely, and honest post - loved reading it!
    I would really find it hart to decide what to bring.. and can't really make mind up now. But definitely I would take my boy with me. The rest isn't that important. :)

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  6. Gorgeous self portrait.
    I can't believe you are moving to live on a boat, I would find it so difficult to decide what to take and that's coming from a girl who lives out of her suitcase! To be honest, I don't have a lot of materialistic things anymore that feel like "home" and I try to just make each place I live home in a different way.
    The only things I really make sure I have everywhere I go is pictures of my friends and family to put up.

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    1. Thank you so much!
      I think it's great that you don't rely so much on your stuff to make a place feel like home. That's something that I'd like to be better about. :)

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  7. wow! I love your drawing! I wish I had those kinds of skills!

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  8. I love how you did a drawing instead of taking a picture. Creative and beautiful.
    If I tried to draw myself, it would probably end up looking like a stick figure.

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  9. Amazing drawing! I would be at loss to not be able to bring my cherished things with me too. You are right though. It is only stuff and I still have the memories to take through life.

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  10. Beautiful drawing! I can't believe you are planning on living on a sailboat. I have always dreamed of doing this so that I can get back to myself. It would be hard for me to do it right now because I have a four month old. I am going to follow your blog, I am curious to see where this trip takes you! Will you be blogging along the way?

    www.bittersweetpetite.com

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    1. Thank you!
      I hope you get the chance to do it someday! I can imagine that it would be difficult with a new baby, though. :)
      That's why I told Riley we have to do it now, otherwise I'd want to have kids and then we'd have to wait until they were old enough to come along and help out. :)
      I hope to be able to blog quite a bit, as long as I have a good internet connection!

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  11. I really like your writing style and how you've incorporated this blogging challenge into personal posts. You should really take your sketch pad with you- you've got a real talent!

    If I could bring anything with me, it'd be my dog, husband, and a lot of books. I could never get tired of reading! And the other two make me indescribably happy :)

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  12. to be honest, moving onto a sailboat has been a dream that my husband and i have shared for years. i love that you are honest about the good and the bad. all adventures come with some heartache and the scariness of the unknown. if i feel most like myself when i have a camera (or art supplies if not that...just something to capture the image of where i've been), pen and paper, probably one pair of dark skinny jeans that i can wear anywhere with anything, a small bible, and chapstick. i like to think that i don't need much...but when i really think about pairing my life down SO far, it would definitely be a struggle!

    -michaela | http://twohandfulsof.wordpress.com/

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    1. I really hope that you'll take the opportunity to do it one day!
      It sounds like you've already got all of the essentials figured out... all of those things are on my list, too! :)

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  13. You're a fantastic artist! I'm such a packrat, I would have a hard time choosing what to bring. Definitely my camera - that's my medium of choice ; )

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  14. Oh, Allison--what a great post! So honest. This is going to be such a life-changing experience for you--I envy you but I'd also be scared. If I were in your shoes, I'd want my iPad, with my journal, music, photos, and books (as long as I had access to a way to keep it charged!). I'd copy you and bring my sketch pad. But the things that would be hardest to leave behind would be my cats.

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    1. Thank you so much!
      You've got the right idea with the iPad. We're working on making sure we have DC power cords so that we can keep everything charged even while we're anchored out in the water.
      And I don't think I could go at all if I couldn't bring my dog. :)

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  15. Love your blog and your portrait is absolutely beautiful! I'm a portrait artist as well but it's been a long time since I've drawn anything :) Truly inspirational :) New follower <3

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    1. Thank you so much! I'm surprised that this self portrait made it this far, I have always found them extremely difficult and I had forgotten that I had even made this one. :)

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  16. I can't imagine having to select only those special items. Stumbled upon your blog through Blogtember, love the self portrait and your writing! I look forward to reading more about what sounds like quite an adventure!

    - Lila

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    1. Thank you! It really has been kind of tricky.
      I'm so glad you stopped by! :)

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  17. I'm not sure why, but the idea of this literally gave me goosebumps. I'm not sure I could do what you're doing. I know I've said it before, but I admire you. You're brave enough to step away from what you know and as a result, will experience things no one else ever will. :)

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  18. We have brought so much onto the boat over the past few years that we are now basically packing up and moving out ready for the boat to come out of the water next month. As is, it's way too heavy for the yacht lift in our boatyard :-)

    The joys of a liveaboard. My advice, take what you want that will make it feel like home and comfortable. Especially things like cushions, throws and soft furnishings. They weigh very little but are comforting

    I'm looking forward to your journey.
    Di
    X

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  19. What a great post - and a great question! I've actually had to sort through that a couple times when heading out on overseas assignments {I'm in the military}. My work gear took up 75% of the room I had to pack stuff, so the last 25% had to count. Camera and laptop were a must, to capture, record, and communicate {and watch movies}. A journal, which I never seemed to write in with any regularity but really should have. A small photo album full of pictures of family and friends {and reminders to write to all of them}. A favorite pillow, just so I could sleep on something that felt and smelled like home. And a whole bunch of other stuff I probably should have thought about more before I hauled around!

    Sounds like you guys are heading out on an adventure that's both exciting and challenging in so many wonderful ways - can't wait to hear your stories!!

    :D KC

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    1. Wow, you've had a lot of practice at pairing down your life then!
      That's what I'm sure is going to happen to me... a whole bunch of other stuff that I'm going to wonder why in the world I thought it was so important at the time. :)

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