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I am a human ping-pong ball, constantly moving to and fro, packing up my life in a record-breaking 25 minutes. In a flurry of well-practiced movements I gathered all the books off my overfull shelves and all the clothes from my slightly under-stocked closet into the various suitcases and bags squished into the corner of my room. I pulled out the red, hardened suitcase first, since it can hold the most. Into it went the neatly folded shirts and pants. Next came the medium sized blue duffle bag. That bag was difficult to close, but if I have learned nothing else from my packing it is that anything can be fastened if one sits on it just right and diligently jams the zipper shut.
“Are you done yet? We have to go, Syd!” It was my mom. Again.
“Mom! It’s only been 15 minutes. I still have to do the bathroom!” Her words spun me into hyper-motion, and I threw the rest of my clothing hastily into my worn black Jansport backpack. I continued into the bathroom.
I quickly pulled out my tired toiletry bag, and gently placed my hard-shelled jewelry box at the bottom. On top of it are the rest of my essentials. Smiling at myself in the mirror, I realized I had broken a new record. I glanced down at my watch. 25 minutes. It took me a grand total of 25 minutes to clean out my entire life, to clean out all signs of my existence from my home. It is now a house, ready for anyone to inhabit. And that’s just the plan.
I was packing up just like I had on more than 20 occasions before, to move either to the back house, to my dad’s house, to our good friend Joanie’s house, to travel, or to stay with whoever would take us. I’ve done this for as long as I remember. I have officially lived in over 10 different houses between my parents, but have temporarily resided in what feel like 50. About five or six times a year, my mom decides that it is time to pack up again and go, and so we do. We rent out the front house or the back as often as possible to make extra money. I know we need the money for my undergraduate and medical school expenses, as well as for my younger sister’s college tuition. I used to be irate every time I heard the words “pack up” come from my excited mother’s mouth, but I’ve grown to enjoy the flexibility that the phrase poses. I can quickly grab my things and run off to greet whatever adventure I am presented with.
Although I do enjoy such variety, I am excited by the hope that I will eventually stay in one place. In the future, I see myself finding somewhere I love and settling there. I will be a ping pong ball after the game is won, maybe slightly bent out of shape, but happy and victorious and glad the exhilarating roller-coaster ride is over.
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