Friday, August 31, 2012

Time To Pack It Up...Literally

No, this isn't about quitting this blog or any other metaphorical version of 'packing it up'.  I've just recently moved in with my lovely and amazing girlfriend and along the way, I made a pretty drastic, fairly un-American decision:  I decided to get rid of most of my shit. This led me to deciding that I'm pretty sure I'm going to leave America for good soon.  As Inugo Montoya so famously said, "Let me explain."

When I said I got rid of most of my shit, I'm not talking about the 'spring cleaning' style of junking that most of us do doing a regular move.  See, most of my stuff was purchased either post-Katrina or during my last hideous grotesque of a marriage.When I decided to move in with my current lady, it dawned on me that, as a woman who owned her own home and had very much made it her own place, I didn't want to wreck her vibe by cluttering it up or making her rearrange everything.

In that spirit, I decided that most of the things that I owned just sat there and took up space.  What did I really need? Well, clothes, a newer laptop than the one I owned, my camera, and a few select pieces of memorabilia and art that were irreplaceable. That was it. Enough to fit into my battered '96 Honda Civic.

I sold my TV, three computers, my furniture, dishes, kitchen appliances, my bed.  What didn't sell went to Freecycle, ended up on the curb or got donated.  As terrifying as that all was, I feel pretty liberated as well.  There's a lightness to not being weighed down by your possessions.

At the same time, I'm watching the usual 'feces flinging primates' show that is the American election cycle.  My blood boils now listening to all the empty rhetoric (at best) and the out right lies (standard). I subject myself to online forum and threads about atheism vs. theism, idiots reactions to polyamory, and the joke that is the daily news. All around me, American just seem enthralled with their own bullshit.

That stuff exists everywhere, I'm not naive. But as a still fairly young, unencumbered, childless, almost debtless, petless man with a halfway portable skill set, why would I not take this opportunity to get out of here and see some of the world?  More than anything, I describe myself a human being. Second descriptor would be a tie:  mostly straight, male, ethnic mutt, fairly smart, and a few others.  Way down on that list is 'American'.  I just don't care that much.

The exceptionalism routine in this country is getting really old.  As a person who's traveled enough to know better, there are some great places out there, and some great people. I love the idea of seeing some of the Nordic countries, or going back to Germany, or drinking with some more Aussies, or driving out to Tierra Del Fuego. There's an entire planet out there. Full of people! And Booze! And People! And Food! And cool shit that existed long before the American Electoral College or McDonalds!

 I think the time has come to really start considering packing up and getting out of here.  Forty years as an American is plenty, don't you think?


Unknown said...

Yes! I hear you, Connor. Whenever I hear about some European traditions and ways of life, I feel more in line with them than I do here. The greed, the materialism and wastefulness, the judgemental persecutions and "us vs them" mentality in the US are really getting old. I have not yet been lucky enough to actually travel to other parts of the world but one of the reasons I moved to an affordable city is to get out of debt so that I can do just that. I know there are other great places out there to discover.
Also - it is quite liberating to get rid of all your "stuff," isn't it? Most of my personal stuff has been in storage at my parents' since Katrina and I've so much enjoyed the lack of clutter and ability to live a pared-down existence. Next month I have to retrieve the rest of my belongings from my parents', and I'm kind of dreading it. I will be getting rid of a lot more, I can see that coming!
I know several friends who are considering moving or planning retirement in another country..... you are not alone.

Matt Hausmann said...

I too and disillusioned with what this country has become. The phrase that makes me vomit is this idea of American Exceptionalism. I am disgusted. What a load of shit. Te only thing exceptional about this country is how fucking selfish it is. The money grubbing politicians…the legal system that is based SOLELY on how much money you have. The bullshit entitlement mentality within the entire wealth spectrum makes me want to puke. I want out. I want out so bad I can taste it. My entirely too large of a home is full of SHIT! I don’t even know where ¾’s of this crap came from. Religious Zealots want to take us back to the 8th century that was dominated by a least in the European view. A new dark age of science will happen here unless attitudes change. That isn’t going to happen.

I long to see where my Dad was born. To see the castle of Robert the Bruce of which my sisters and I are descendants of (although he wasn’t a nice man). I want to see Ayers Rock, the Great Barrier Reef, Tierra Del Fuego. I want to go see those EVIL socialist European countries. The Great Wall…the Taj Mahal. All these wonders that were built by smart people…maybe a little crazy too. Nicolai Tesla was crazy too.

I envy you Conner. My boys need me. I’ll be here for them…protecting them from insanity of drug abuse. If you go…I wish you luck. I’ll be thinking of you…and wishing it were me.

Anonymous said...

I hear you and agree on many levels. I still see hope here though. I also have kids and must stay here and try to educate them and prepare them for whatever happens. I would like to add that aside from what the media presents us there are a LOT of "us" out here with actual thinking brains ( critically thinking ) and we actually use them. Whats happening here and in many places around the world is kinda like a widget that no one knows whee it came from or how it got here, but it is here and no one knows what to do with it so we go on ignoring it. To me it is a non self aware entity- emotionless and unreasonable that we all created and now its loose upon us. It feeds on ignorance and hate which there is sadly plenty of.Kill it by getting rid of its food supply- like anything else. So what I mean with all this is that it is everywhere so you might as well go to where ever has the best beer and deal with it there.