Sunday, November 4, 2012

One month

A month from today we will be on our way out of Xining.  We've called this place home for almost 7 years, and every time we've left we've always come back.  This time, we will not be coming back.  At least, we have no plans to come back.

Today I am organizing 7 years worth of stuff.  Stuff sucks.  I look through things here that date back to our pre-China days, things like notebooks full of notes, clothes that I should have gotten rid of a long time ago, and iPod mini cases and cords.  What do I do with all of this stuff?

Just some of our stuff

More stuff.  How about a bunch of CDs?  When we moved here it was pretty normal to have a big case full of CDs, but these days people don't buy those things anymore.  People can still copy them to their computer, of course, but all that leaves us with is a big pile of disks.  Not to mention all of the books we have.  What do you do with books when the Kindle is all you need?  Or, even further still, what does one do with all of their bookshelves once all of their books are gone?  More stuff.

A lot of our stuff is useful.  The books and CDs are quality, and can be used.  We have some sporting equipment, some tools for fixing things around the apartment.  We have some chairs, an iron, and a humidifier.  We have useful stuff, stuff that people can use.  It's just amazing how much of it there is.  We have over 25 bags and suitcases.  Wow!

I mean, what do I do with this tooth
that I got pulled 6 years ago?

One month from leaving, and you want to know what I've been thinking?  You want to know what it's like?  Well, it's like walking down the road with an arm full of stuff.  And not just material stuff, but also experiences, familiar restaurants and shops, places that remind me of good memories and bad memories, and most importantly, friendships.  It's like walking down the road with all of that "stuff" in my hands and then suddenly just dropping it on the ground and walking  away from it.  At least, that's how I feel about it right now.

In our living room I have piled up all of our stuff for the sale we are having later this week.  For now, it is kind of sad to get rid of it all.  Though, I know that later on it will feel good to get the burden that stuff can be off of our backs.

The same can't be said for the friendships we've made here.  That's the tough thing to let go of.  We'll keep in touch with a few of them, but if I'm honest, most of the people here we will never see again.  The people that we've had so much in common with.  People from far away places that have come here to Xining to try to do some good.  In that way, we will always have a bond with the people that live here.  And for the local friends, it will be tough to say goodbye to them forever.  Yet, that's the way life goes sometimes.  All I can take away from it is the satisfaction of getting to know them for this time and wishing them the best in the future.

I told Barbara how I felt about all of our "stuff", about how it feels like I'm just dropping it on the ground and walking away.  She said that she feels the same way, only that she's looking for a good place to drop it, so it has a soft landing and will be okay when we are gone.  I like it when she talks.


Lois Gitzel said...

I'll take that tooth!!!! I actually have every baby tooth you boys ever shed in a little bag. My goal is to paint them all gold and make a necklace ... no ... really ...!!

བློ་བཟང་ said...

Curious what you did with the tooth? ?

Brett G 英 明 said...

I think I brought it home. Not sure about the necklace, though. Maybe an earring?