Whether it be on a long trip, to college, or a cross-country move, we are all well acquainted with the horror that is packing. I am moving seventeen hours away, and, like a responsible adult, I waited two days before my stuff needed to be on the truck to begin the packing process. Within the span of these 48 hours, I experienced all of the emotions a human being can experience—namely, what I aptly refer to as the five stages of packing.
Stage 1: Denial
All the days leading up to the inevitable truck day, I continually told myself, "no... I don't have that many things to pack! It'll be a breeze!" as I walked into my fully-furnished bedroom. In fact, some days I went so far as denying that the move was even taking place—no, not because I didn't want to go, but because packing is definitely from the Devil.
Stage 2: Anger
Once the denial wore off (in the unceasing comments from my mother reminding me of the reality), I briefly visited stage two. I became unreasonably annoyed with the number of clothes I owned and shoes I purchased in the past—I was even mad at the number of empty boxes piling up my once comfortable bedroom.
Stage 3: Bargaining
Stage three is where I found myself the longest. At one time, I rationalized that I should just give everything to Good Will so that I wouldn't have to pack it at all—who needs a bed anyway? If it means that I don't need to engage in the horrific act of packing, then I don't. I can sleep on the floor, right? Wrong. But I did end up throwing and / or giving away a huge portion of my clothes and shoes.
Stage 4: Depression
Let's be honest, this stage didn't come in order, nor did it relent until the end. I found myself sitting in the midst of the chaos that is my apartment simply petting my cat. Because, honestly, what's the point of owning anything and packing for a move that, inevitably, will probably end in another packing session in a few years time? Also, why do I keep so many things from forever ago? Who needs all this junk? So I sat on the floor for a while... and then sat some more.
Stage 5: Acceptance
This stage doesn't come until you're completely done packing—at least it didn't for me. So, as I sit here in my make-shift bed, looking at my boxes and sad empty room, I have accepted it. Tomorrow, my life will be packed away in a Penske truck, and on January 15th, I will be following.
Moving is stressful, it is scary, but, man, it's an adventure.