I was skimming through some of my older photographs the other day just to see what I have. Lately I've been taking inventory of what I have and what I need to purge. I guess that it's like an early spring cleaning exercise. So when I was looking through my old photos, I came across some snapshots of my first visit back home to Georgia a few years ago. I'm always taking pictures and documenting everything, so I wasn't surprised to see some photos of my storage units that I used to have. Like I said, I take pictures of everything and so this was a picture of the contents of the unit. I know it may sound kooky, but at the time it was what I needed to do. It wasn't about materialism at all...it was about remembering a part of my life.
I've written here from time to time about my struggles early on in this experience of living abroad. Like a lot of people who go to live in another country, I found that I had struggles with my identity. I know that my "things" don't define me, but leaving everything behind to start anew can liberating, and yet it can also be very unsettling. My reaction was the latter. So when I went there to sort through some of my things, it was more powerful emotionally than I thought it would be. It sounds cliche, but a part of my life did seem like it was boxed up and staring right back at me as I opened the door. It was good to see my very own things again after having spent quite a while inside this new life that didn't feel like mine yet. I think that my experience with moving to England was tinged with sadness over the sudden loss of my mother. So when I opened that storage unit door, a bit of my life "before" flooded back to me. It was strange. I didn't feel sad. I instantly felt grounded again like everything was gonna be okay. I guess it was like taking a look back...holding the memories close...and then walking onward again. I enjoyed that trip home immensely. Who knew that a trip to the storage unit would be so helpful :-)
Storage units are interesting places. I no longer have mine, but it served its purpose to hold onto a few things for me...both physically and spiritually. Mine was a place to store things that were treasures to me and as an in-between place to bridge from one life to another. Yes, sometimes they can also be a pack rat's paradise, but sometimes they are just what you need when you're in transition in your life. I appreciate that I had a place to keep things as I figured out my next steps and now I am fine and thriving in this new country.
It's funny how photos can instantly take you back to times past and reveal so much to you about yourself. I guess that is why I love taking pictures, because they are like the pages of a diary in a way and can reveal such truth...even about storage units.