Friday, February 7, 2014


Someone left this awesome bag with a free cat
tower in it outside their house. I probably shouldn't
have picked it up. But hey, free cat tower!
Moving. The word itself is action- a shift, a change. Pushing forward means shaking the cobwebs off my suitcases and examining the clutter that's crawled into the corners and crannies of both my physical and mental spaces.

My current living setup is cosy and beautiful. I've been beyond fortunate to live in a gem of an apartment in the heart of Over-the-Rhine. It has the nearly unheard-of trifecta of being affordable, having a washer and dryer in the unit, and best of all... storage space.

Space for my bike in the shed in the courtyard. Wrap around shelves and drawers in the kitchen, concealing all the dishes and contraptions for creating. A huge bookshelf that came with the apartment that holds treasures both literary and artistic. Not one, but two closets in my bedroom, with additional space to store tubs utilizing the high ceilings, besides. Three years here means I've accumulated some neat treasures. And a lot of unnecessary crap.

Over-the-Rhine is a living scrapbook of memories, people and experiences. I've had the great fortune of collecting a number of awesome people in my life, and we've done some pretty crazy and amazing things for and in this little collection of streets.

Walking down Main Street brings a trove of memories springing unbidden to my mind. Every glance out the window is colored with a hundred different stories - days and nights spanning the heights of community, joy, love down to the depths of my bleakest moments (remember the time I recommended walking down the street at 3am bawling one's eyes out as a way to ward off people bothering you? That actually happened.)

It's been a blessing and a curse to have done a chunk of my growing up in this tiny neighborhood. For the group of thirty or so people that have been in my life for years, there really are no secrets. You've seen me at my absolute worst, and celebrated with me at my best.  It's been an incredible little ecosystem to discover my identity. To try new things. To passionately advocate. To help out - and also hurt, however unintentionally.

I've been making trips to Goodwill, clearing out the physical stuff that's piled up in my life. This weekend I went home and went through all my childhood things - deciding what to take with me and what to keep for the future. The Franklin recycling facility will be full of old report cards and choir programs.

It's time to decide what gets to stay, and what gets to go. I've carried around guilt, anger, sadness, grudges, from past hurts and experiences. There are too many small trinkets from various places that worked once, but now are taking up space I no longer need to fill.

I am leaving this city for something new, with someone new. I am dropping this bag, amongst all the others, off at the curb. Each filled with lonely nights, terrible mistakes, overstepped boundaries, blown budgets, poor caloric choices, impulsive decisions, hurtful words, confused actions, meaningless connections. So many bags in the rooms of my heart, filled with memories quietly bubbling away.

There’s no room for them anymore, in my overstuffed brain, in my filled to bursting heart. It’s time to cut them loose – the icky, sad, crusty parts of my time in Cincinnati. There’s simply no space in my life for festering wounds. The good things - people, memories, times - of course, will be packed up along with my other beloved treasures before I hit the road. 

As I pack my bags and start to fill boxes, there is a freedom – I get to choose what comes with me and what gets left behind. A new start in Baltimore begins with a cultivated heart. I have apologies to make, and grudges to release. OTR, you’ve had all of me. I’m only taking the good stuff.