Packing Up A Life and Saying Hello to Change

Change. Life is all about change. It is going to happen whether we want it to or not so we might as well embrace it, even if sometimes it feels so hard.

In the few weeks leading up to moving to New Zealand, I experienced a lot of change. Some of it was good, some of it was bad, and some was just apathetic.

One of the biggest changes I dealt with was moving. After returning from my Europe trip, I had just 6 days to pack up the apartment I had lived in for 3 years and move on. Packing up your life can be extremely cathartic but also quite sad. It is like saying goodbye to an era.

Luckily for me, my little sister, Colleen, was moving out of a dorm into an apartment at the same time that I was moving out of an apartment and on to an adventure. This made it easy because a lot of the things I needed to get rid of, she needed to acquire. Things she didn’t want got given away to friends, strangers, or charity shops. In the end I was left with only a backpacking backpack and a day pack as my only earthly belongings. It is a very weird feeling to look down and see all of the things you own in a small pile.

One thing that packing up taught me (even though I kind of already knew it) is that I am a minimalist without much sense of sentimentality. I had/have very few belongings and there were very few things that I felt an overwhelming feeling of sentimentality for. This made it far easier to purge items and condense down to what I wanted to keep/travel with.

The actual act of leaving my apartment was bittersweet because it had been my home for three years. That is quite awhile to settle in and feel connected to a place. It also meant no longer living with my roommate (who is also one of my best friends) of four years. The biggest thing of all that hit me was the idea that I didn’t know when I would next have a place that I considered my own. My current plans for the foreseeable future feature me staying with WWOOF hosts, in hostels, camping under the stars, and who knows what else. None of these plans really include me having my own place so losing that feeling of possession and familiarity was quite startling.

Another big moment of change was watching my roommate of four years get married. It was a fantastic day filled with smiles, happiness, love, and a little bit of rushing around but it ended with Katy off on a new adventure of her own. While I am overwhelmingly happy for her, it is still a little bittersweet because we are losing each other a little bit. It is unlikely we will ever live together again and we definitely won’t share a bedroom for 4 years again so some of the closeness that brought will fade but I’m sure we will remain good friends forever.

Another wonderful change that the time between leaving my apartment and heading off to New Zealand brought was my experiences living in a one bedroom apartment with 1 to 3 other girls. That time strengthened my relationships with some friends, Izzy and Jessica, but also allowed new bonds to flourish. I can’t imagine my life not having that time and really getting to know Ada. Together, the four of us (in various permutations) had incredible times together, eating about a hundred avocados (that is not an exaggeration), going on nighttime walks, adventuring around Denver’s Pride Parade and Denver’s Chalk Festival, drinking with friends and professors, having emotional conversations, trying to give ourselves tattoos (unsuccessfully) and sharing a king size bed with 2 other people. However, this amazing time made leaving so much harder because it is hard saying goodbye to people you have grown so close to.

This sadness, but more importantly the happiness we experienced together is something that has definitely changed me. Change is something that I am actively trying to embrace because it is always a part of life. Change is something I have often been quite afraid of and it definitely has made me anxious in the past. But change is what leads to amazing new memories and fabulous experiences. Change gave me a great 3 weeks with friends before heading off to New Zealand. Different choices and changes also gave me my time in the math department at Mines (an incredible experience that I never want to forget). Change has given me this time in my life that has been so full of happiness, friends, and growth. I will never look at it without thinking of the people I love and the future I want to build and that is all because I welcomed change.

As I move onward on this unknown path, I am embracing change in every way and using it to propel myself forward into the unknown. Life is about growing, adapting and making new memories so that is what I am going to focus on doing. However, it won’t stop me from remembering my friends and family who are my home.

Stay tuned for stories about my arrival in New Zealand!!!

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