We’re currently in the process of cleaning out the house. I say “cleaning out” rather than “cleaning up” because this involves shedding multiple rooms of 10 years of detritus, wondering why on Earth we kept all this garbage for so long and paying now for our sloth in the past.

This process is wildly un-fun, but it feels increasingly necessary. I am already very much over the whole “being a homeowner thing.” When I bought this house in 2008, I had intended to just move from my downtown loft to another loft south of downtown, but I allowed myself to be talked into this whole process by older family members who are products of the mid-century “buy a house and have a car and that’s that” sort of American dream, the kind of thing that neither appeals to me nor seems especially sustainable in 2018. The act of living in the house isn’t bad, but I hate taking care of it, dealing with repairs and improvements and the pointless yard and the lingering feeling that all I got from all these extra bedrooms and whatnot were more places to stash crap and forget about it for years at a time, only to wake up and realize how cluttered everything had become. It’s all very much not worth it, and I miss just having a nice open loft space in an old building somewhere a few floors up from the street, a cozy little living space without so much excess.

So, the process of hauling out all this old junk is well underway now. Saturday mornings in particular have become a ritual of wading into, say, the garage, and removing a decade’s worth of unused items, empty boxes, and forgotten cast-offs from living spaces past. Once a month, this coincides nicely with the city’s bulk trash pick-up day, so some of it goes out front, but otherwise it gets packed into the cargo space of our little Chevrolet Spark and hauled to the nearest city disposal center, a place I have become rather intimately familiar with by this point.

The end goal of all this is, of course, a move, but I haven’t publicly acknowledged what form that move might take yet. I feel like I’ve been on a path for years now that I’ve been slowly approaching the end of, a path that sees us bid farewell to Texas. I don’t like this state, for a variety of reasons, and though I’ve spent many years advocating to make this city better I feel myself burning out on it as well. Our multiple trips to the Pacific Northwest have only confirmed to me how deeply within myself I love Oregon, and I want to end up there. Whether that happens right after the sale, or if there’s an intermediate stop in a local apartment, I’m not certain. I feel it coming, though, and it’ll be at once incredibly intimidating and incredibly exhilarating.