The Princess is ready to claim her own Castle!!
In lay terms, this means that one of my very good dear wonderful friends is moving into her very first on-her-own apartment. I wish her all the best of moving vibes, from good weather to good-humored and prompt moving helpers to good pizza and good sleep. (Which is less that she has earned as she has helped me move more than is reasonable. Usually in heels. I am thinking specifically of the buffet.)*
But that’s not really the point.
I kind of don’t mind moving, at least I didn’t. The packing and cleaning and sorting and dusting and sneezing and throwing out of things worked as a kind of identity therapy. I got to touch all of the things that made up the world that fit into the set of |Me|**. Journals, letters, books, shrines, ceramics, mementos, missing laundry – all of it active and real elements of an entirely self-created self-definition.
Conversations at work have included an ongoing debate with my friend about the spectrum of introversion and how to apply it. He spoke a thing that I think I’ve been missing about the world for a really long time. The conversation went something like this: Me – You don’t get to define me. Him – We are all defined by other people! Me – stunned silence *eyebrow up*
Well, but I’ve always been that way, right: “I’ll be my own self!” foot stomp “No one else is the boss of me!” “You do not get to define me!” (I have said that one a lot)
It smacks so cheerfully of childishness, doesn’t it? How easy to dismiss are claims that do not fit the dictionary definition.
Because I have moved a lot, and I know the difference between |Me| and ‘hippie’, ‘free-thinker’, ‘snob’, ‘sweetheart’, ‘original’; the list is long and I am not alone in having one.
(I do not credit this attitude problem with tens of moves, but the inventory is part of living in this space around me, and that is directly connected to moving.)
We learn how to behave based on outside expectations. We frequently only see our actions as they are reflected or refracted in other peoples’ lives. Our class system maintains itself with rigidly defined behavioral policies and expectations. The social constructs we are taught to accept without questions are predicated on outside, not self-control, as well as predestination not self-determination.
Every day brings more support to the dangers of stereotyping: externally imposed definitions – diminishing by definition. Every day there is evidence drawn in blood that it is not safe to fail at accepting external definitions. And every single day individuals still make the decision to escape the social constructs, the naysayers be damned.
So, I guess what I really wish for my Princess is the time to see what her life looks like on the inside. What the last years have made, hidden and lost. Find the absolute value of yourself in the silence and chaos of boxes, bags and Moving Day.
This year, I’ll settle for deep cleaning.
*Apparently the move has already happened, but whatever. The sentiment is the same.
** |Me| denotes the absolute value of whatever is listed between the bars, in this case: Me. Math is cool.