25 December 2008

Settlement Issues

So, I am here visiting my sister in her house in New Jersey. My main goal for this visit basically is to drop her suitcase off, which I transported from my parent's house in Hungary when I went there last summer. I took it back with me from Europe, then it stayed in my apartment for 5 months, and now I delivered it to my sister. Amazing huh?

Anyway, something both my sister and I noticed is that both of us have settlement issues. What does this actually mean?

My sister's stuff is all over her room, but all in suitcases and boxes. Yes, until now, even after living here for almost a year now, with a job and everything, she still is living in a suitcase. Aside from a bed, she has no furniture. And sad to say, I am the same thing. I have furniture in my house, but only the basics. If I needed to pack my stuff, I can do it within half a day.

It's like being a turtle, you know, having your house behind your back and you're able to carry it wherever you go. Somehow, the sense of permanence is not present.

I rationalize that I am not permanently going to stay in Buffalo. In fact, I am almost done. I am more than half-way done, so why plant my roots deeply if I am moving again?

I didn't realize that my sister has the same issue in her head. Then she realized that the only remedy for this one is to buy furniture. Otherwise, she would always see herself fleeting from one place to another. It reminds me of my sentiment here, from time to time, that somehow I feel like it is time to move out of Buffalo.

Maybe it is because of the way we grew up, as kids of diplomats. We move around, internationally nonetheless, and packing things are just a piece of cake. We move to a place with the realization that we would leave after a few years. And no, I don't carry a diplomatic passport anymore, but somehow the mentality is still there.

(Here Rests, from my Arlington Cemetery Series)


  1. Oh, I can relate... I used to say that I could pack my whole life into a bag. Easy to clean up, easy to carry.

    I`m a bit more relaxed now but I don`t own much.

    (Happy new year a few day in advance!)

  2. When I came back to Manila, I purposely didn't get a condo anymore. I just stayed with my cousin and save myself from buying furniture and other houselhold stuff. So if I decide to move, I can always do it a matter of, um, an hour. Hehe.

    I hate staying put in one place. We're gypsies, aren't we? :)

    Merry Christmas!

  3. Zhu,

    I know right, easy to clean up, easy to carry. I like that. Although I do realize that I cannot continue living this way, since there will come a time in which I will settle down as well.


    Gypsies. Hmmm, I am curious what made you be like one. I know the reason for mine, care to share what yours is?

  4. he he he... I moved 4 apartments in one year (2008) and traveled to a bunch of countries too. Nomadic life is cool, but now I am going to buy furniture and have a home home :)

  5. Final Transit,

    I know, nomadic life is cool, but tiring sometimes. Once I am done with school, I will settle down.