Ever wondered how much your life weighs? Neither had I, but I had the good fortune to find out, anyway. And now…I kind of wish I didn’t know.
In March, my roommate and I moved out of our (amazing) place in Santa Monica. She is returning to school and I was quitting my job (another story for another time) and was not sure if I would be staying in Los Angeles or not. Since the next steps for me were anything but clear, I decided to put all of my belongings in storage until I figured out where I was going to land.
Door Storage. They delivered a 4’x7’x11’ crate to my door. And for the next few evenings after work and the entire following weekend, my master packer (ie, my mother) and I worked to solve the puzzle of fitting everything I own into slightly more than 300 cubic feet. I have enough furniture to fill a one-bedroom apartment.
Some said it couldn’t be done. At times…I said it couldn’t be done. But somehow, my mother kept finding ways to fit more in the box. It was like watching Mary Poppins in reverse. You remember how much we admired Ms. Poppins as we saw her pull lamps and birdcages and coat racks out of her bottomless carpetbag. But what we really wanted to know was how she got those things in there. They don’t show us that part. And let’s face it—pulling stuff out is easy. No offense, Mary.
While my mom does have mad packing skills, and while we both worked our tails off to get the job done, neither of us is obtuse enough to actually think we did it on our own. I had the help of a master packer. And she had the help of a Master Packer. Over those few days, things fell into place – figuratively and literally – in countless impossible ways. We call it the Miracle of the Move. (To see a complete list of the many small miracles that make up the larger Miracle, visit my mom’s blog.)
After we had fit as much as was inhumanly possible into the portable storage crate...
...the Door-to-Door man came back to collect it. I was at work, but from what I hear, when he went to pick it up with his forklift, the back tires of his lift literally came off the ground. Turns out there’s a weight limit on those boxes. It’s 2,000 lbs. My box apparently weighed 2,800 lbs. The D-t-D man said it wouldn’t be a problem unless the bottom couldn’t support the weight and it caved. Great. Thanks for the reassurance.
A month later, when the storage crate was re-delivered to my new little 1-bedroom apartment in West LA, my mom (who came back again to help me move in. What a sport!) and I held our breaths as we opened the door. Amazingly enough, there had been very little shifting. Everything looked as it had when we had locked it up weeks before. I know what you’re thinking: “Where would any of it go?” Still, though…watching my life being carried away in a box has a way of making me nervous.
When we started with that empty box and all of my stuff, it seemed like there was no way it could be done. So it goes with the Door-to-Door portable storage unit…and with life. I find myself evaluating what I've accomplished over the past few years and wondering how what I’ve always wanted/expected fits with where I find myself now. What on earth am I doing trying to make it as a single working professional in Los Angeles?! I’m supposed to be married with kids. Not pursuing a career and continually losing hope that the dating life will ever pick up again. The reality does not jive with the vision I’ve always had for my self. And so the Miracle of the Move becomes a parable for my own life. Even when it seems like the things I hold dear can’t possibly fit in the box I’ve been given, everything, in fact, has a place. I just have to rely on the Master Packer to fit it all together.