Thursday, September 13, 2012

Aliyah Update: I've Sold it All

My passport returned with my "aliyah visa" 
-- the stamp of approval. It's time to return!

I didn't anticipate how quickly everything would go. I mean, we're talking lightning speed here. I blinked and everything was taken.

One girl from Nebraska came and picked up entertainment center, which she dismantled cone she got it to the parking lot. I left her to her handiwork after helping her schlep it outside. A veteranarian from Michigan bought my four-by-two IKEA bookcase, and in the process I discovered she was Jewish and promised to set her up with the Jewish community.

You see, I realized that the "Oh I'm selling it all because I'm moving to Israel" to be a powerful narrative. That, paired with the "I've only lived her a month because I got divorced" bit seemed to resonate.

The guy who came and dismantled my dining room set in about 10 minutes flat is going through a divorce, and the guy who came and purchased my couch and side chair? Also going through a divorce. The latter had actually been to Haifa on a military contract, so we got along swimmingly.

I've sold some things locally, like many books and kitchen goodies. But it's the strangers that really do it for me. I'm not very good at meeting people, especially strangers, and I have a tendency toward anxiety every time someone says they're coming to pick something up. But then they get there and we start up in conversation about why I'm moving and where I'm moving and why on earth I spent so much money buying everything brand new when I moved to Israel less than a year ago.

Now, all that's left is my bed. A mattress, a box spring, a frame. Oh, and my patio set. I've had two people offer to buy it and no one actually come through to take it. Anyone need a nice patio set? Barely used? Less than six months old? Let me know.

It's weird going home now. There are still a few things on the wall, but the truth is the only things left in my apartment outside of the aforementioned are my clothes, a simple stack of books (and two boxes, which I'm going to store in a friend's spare space, and my kitchen stuff. I'm surprised at how quickly I downsized. Looking at the amount of clothes and books I plan to schlep with me, I'm actually starting to wonder whether I'm going to need all 150 pounds of allotted space on my flight.

If I can manage all of my life's important possessions in two 50-pound suitcases to Israel, I'll feel accomplished. A little sad, but mostly accomplished. Things, as we all know, don't come with us when we die. Things are replaceable. It's memories and people that we keep with us, and I don't need a suitcase to schlep that.

I just need a really, really great capacity for the memory of love, kindness, and luck.