Monday, September 19, 2011

Fitting my life into a suitcase


After - ta da!

Does anyone else out there occasionally pretend their life is a movie? Complete with soundtrack, wardrobe changes, and the odd voiceover or two?

I can't be the only one.

I'm standing in front of my wardrobe right now, staring into the abyss and wondering what I should pack that will last me for a year in England. While I do this, I can't help imagining myself traipsing through the moors with a Heathcliff doppelganger, dressed in a flowy, romantic dress (uh, just to clarify, that's me in the dress, not Heathcliff! He can be in some manly jodhpurs or something) while Lady Antebellum's "Just a Kiss" plays overhead. Or me hanging out a black taxi cab going over London Bridge while "There She Goes" plays. Or me in a trenchcoat wandering around Camden Market to the strains of One Republic's "Good Life" while I peruse the goods and happily lick an ice cream cone. Or something.

Not that I give the movie of my life much thought or anything. Cough.

Anyways, I have another embarrassing confession to make: I moved home from Moscow in July (yep, that would be two and a half months ago) and I STILL haven't completely unpacked my suitcase. I think my reasoning went a little like this - I'm moving to England in September, so what's the point of unpacking only to have to repack it all again in a few short months? But in a way, that's kind of like those people who don't make their beds because they'll be getting back into them at night...and, well, that's kinda lazy and gross in my opinion.

Another reason why I didn't completely unpack is that unpacking is nowhere near as fun as packing is. Packing is exciting and full of hope and promise and the thrill of the unknown. Where will I be when I wear this sundress? You fold and roll your clothes extra carefully, making sure nothing is creased or crumpled. If you're like me, you fantasize about Heathcliff and taxi cabs and trenchcoats while you tuck socks and underwear in all the little nooks and crevices of the suitcase (hint: I always put little bulky things like Tide To-Go pens, cosmetics, granola bars, etc in my ballet might as well use up that extra space!).

But unpacking is a letdown - your adventure's over, and you're back to reality now. Your clothes, so delicately folded and organized when you were leaving, are thrown in haphazardly, dirty, wrinkled, worn. And you realize you've got a massive amount of laundry to do, knickknacks and souvenirs to put away, memories to store and hold onto and, hopefully, never forget.

Until today, I wanted to hold onto Russia as long as I could. I didn't want to go through my suitcase, hang up my winter coat, file away my Russian phrasebooks...I suppose I just didn't want to let go of Russia and my time there. But now that England is so fast approaching - I leave in exactly one week! - I feel ready. One door closes, another opens. My adventure in Russia has ended, but my adventure in England is just beginning.

Heathcliff awaits - so that means I better get picking out the perfect outfits for romantic moor wanderings! (Who's betting that I'll get there and discover that moors are actually horrible, cold, dreary, depressing places with no human life and my fantasies will be crushed?)


  1. Ahh, Heathcliff! The images are so concrete. Looking forward to another year of amazing and well-written adventures!

  2. I don't actually believe this is a different before/after picture than you posted before coming to Russia. Just sayin'.

  3. OH! because it's totally not)))) lazybones

  4. hahaha you caught me...guilty. I've actually only gotten as far as washing all my scarves, mittens, and hats that were still in my suitcase. Oops.

  5. Hahahah love it! You're totally right, packing is full of promise. Wish I was packing for a big adventure right now! And, also, you can't marry someone named Heathcliff. Well, more accurately *I* can't marry someone named Heathcliff. Or Heath Ledger. It would just be too weird.

  6. Katie: Good luck from the Brennan's. I'll bookmark this so all can check in. I enjoy your storytelling style.

  7. Andrea will be spending the next year in London at a dietician intership. However she is going to France with Anna on Sept. 24 and will be visiting Laura Hines in London the next weekend. Why don't you send her your contact info and maybe she can get in touch. Her email is

  8. Thank you! Oh wow, I'm looking forward to hearing about Anna and Andrea's trip to France! I will email Andrea now; thank you for passing her address along - that'd be great if we could get in touch while she's in London.