There’s something so bittersweet about packing up before a move.Stripping away the layers of your life from a space – peeling moments off of walls and removing hidden memories from dark closet corners. Everything is resurfaced and exposed as you pack it away, forcing you to mull over each piece in your brain, letting it tumble around for a while like drying laundry. In some cases you have to decide what memories to keep out in the open and which ones to pack away again, to store in yet another dark corner, or perhaps even to throw away entirely. When it’s all over you’re left with a skeleton of the home that has been your sanctuary for however long, waiting to be filled with another body and a different set of memories. It’s a blank canvas for a new life to paint, new laughter will echo off of its walls. So much can happen within those walls, but our time in them feels fleeting still.
There were several moments when I questioned my decision. I thought about backing out, staying in Philly with my family and friends, and the great life that I’d built for myself in the past few years. But what it came down to was… if I didn’t feel so strongly in my gut that I was doing the right thing, I would have stayed.
The sweet part lies in that, at the end of the road, a brand new start awaits. Packing up only what can fit in your car and going somewhere new makes you feel almost weightless. All of the weight that had built up over the years, or that was rummaged up in the move, was shed and tossed out the windows, left in the dust as I drove along the highway. I can’t describe how empowering it felt to drive into my new city, by myself, windows down, singing along to a playlist I made that got me through the majority of my drive (listen to it below!). I’ve visited this city so many times, but I’ve always flown in. An early morning, a nap on the plane, and I’m in Austin. But to drive felt almost… surreal.
To get in my car, drive for a while – well, quite a while, but hey, I like to drive – and be somewhere so different… all on my own.
I know it won’t be easy. But I’m excited for the challenge, and to explore this amazing new city that I am proud to call my home.
The following photos were taken with a Polaroid camera and a disposable camera that my coworkers gave me as part of a going away package (that also included a road atlas – they rule). The ones I took with the disposable camera are so reflective of what it’s really like to be on the road and look out at the scenery – fleeting, out of focus, whipping by at lightning speed outside my window. I imagine freezing that nonstop motion for a split second… and that’s just what these photos are.