If you've ever moved before, you know fully well that it is a pain in the you-know-what. Packing up everything you own carefully into boxes, carrying the heavy boxes and various pieces of furniture one by one down stairs (if you're lucky it's less than three flights), loading up a moving van or a very kind friend's truck, driving to your new abode, dragging said boxes and furniture up stairs (three flights again, are you kidding me?!), and then unpacking and arranging.
Within the last couples years, I have done all of the above six times, and move number seven is coming up in less than a month. All of my moves were for different reasons, ranging from celebratory important life milestones (ex: college graduation), to not so pleasant but equally important occasions (ex: a breakup), to the anticlimactic and inevitable ending of a lease.
When you move that much, you learn to condense things in your life. Do you really need that ugly drawer-residing penguin figurine your ex painted for you on a date four years ago? How many bottles of hair products constitute "too many?" Since when did you ever wear this purple sweater? What's left over, no matter how small or large, whether it's a ticket stub from a Milwaukee Brewers spring training game or a homemade mau5head, holds meaning for you. If it meant nothing, you wouldn't bother to keep carrying it with you.
The same goes for people. People come and go in our lives, but although we may not feel as if we choose to invite them in or feel as if we consciously toss them in the bin with that cast off purple sweater, we often are those who make the final decision as to who stays or goes- based upon the effort (or lack thereof) we make. We have friends in all shapes and sizes- some are family who we don't exactly pick ourselves, some are friends we meet in all facets of our lives. Some need more attention than others, some are better suited to handle some situations than others, some are better for the good times, some are better for support. This does not make any of them worth more than the rest, but it shows the range in which we can amicably co-exist, the same as we may fit into the lives of those very same people.
And, let me tell you, if you really want to know who is there for you: move six times. There is no better person in the entire world than one who will help you move. No matter how much beer you promise, it is not pleasant lifting others' heavy belongings in the middle of a humid Indiana summer.
Literal moving aside, we all make changes in our lives that are equally comparable, if not even more considerable, than a change of residence. Some years, we do this more so than others. Those who will help us do the 'heavy lifting' emotionally are invaluable, because they love us and support us as well as our goals, with no promised benefit to them except for our happiness.
So, examine your life. Look at who is still around- not just existing in the realm of your life, but really there for you. When have you last thanked the people who have "moved" you over the years, whether it be physically or in an intangible way? There's obviously a reason they're still around. Do not carelessly let them go the way of the sweater, go the extra mile to show them you appreciate that they have done the same in many ways for you. Tell them creatively what it is that makes them so wonderful or simply that you appreciate all that they do. Simple words, written or spoken, are more meaningful than any gift you could give them, yet we often get too caught up in our own daily narratives to remember this fact. Doing so will even brighten your own day.
Because when you recognize not one, but two people stand out from the rest as truly dedicated to your success, who go above and beyond to ensure you feel supported, happy, and loved, and who are always the first to dry your tears, find solutions to your problems, or open a bottle of wine to celebrate your achievements- you discover that although sometimes (always) moving sucks, you're pretty darn lucky to have some great people to carry in your heart with you no matter where you go. And, if you're lucky, they might even carry some boxes up three flights of stairs for you.
Thank you so much, mom & dad, for everything over the last 24 years!
I promise I won't make either of you carry any boxes during move number seven!