We left the city! Mostly symbolically, of course – we just crossed the bridge into New Jersey – but it was still our grand farewell to New York.
It took another full day of heroic effort to actually get ourselves out of the apartment. We were still sweeping up about 4 hours after we had originally planned to leave. But we had a lovely send-off by our neighbor, and joined a friend for what was a beautiful, nearly empty ride up the West Side Bikeway and out of the city.
We’re both just relieved that moving is over and that we made it to a hotel; processing the rest of our feelings about leaving will take a while longer, I think.
We’ve spent the last week on the arduous process of moving out of our apartment. I assumed moving would be relatively easy, but it turns out we’ve spent the last 5 years cramming stuff into every available crevice of our space. Even more surprising to me was how emotional packing could be.
Dismantling everything feels destructive – I never thought of our apartment as something we built together, but of course it was. It reflects half a decade of decisions we made together, even if everything we had was acquired haphazardly.
Sorting out all of those haphazard decisions has also taken a lot of emotional energy. Why did we have a tiny ice cream machine in our highest cupboard? Why do I have all these books I never read? There’s a travel blog trope where you get rid of your stuff, freeing you to experience some kind of transcendental, minimalist bliss. Maybe we’ll feel that way in a week or two, but right now we’re just physically and emotionally tired.
We took a brief interlude from packing to drive some of our more important things up to my parents’ house. After all the effort of dragging our stuff up and down two flights of stairs, taking a day to do almost nothing at their place felt like a luxury. (Plus, they had things like food and sheets!) But it was a quick visit, and we took the late train back to New York.
Tomorrow will officially be the first day of our trip. We’ll spend most of the day wrapping up our move, then finally pack our bikes and ride just outside of the city. It still doesn’t feel like something real – I can’t imagine how we’ll feel tomorrow once we’ve started.