30 days left in Pittsburgh: Almost May

Today I walked around like a zombie. My mind is so focused on May and everything I have left to do that it has been difficult to force myself to function. So much of my Big Plan has been delegated to the month of May, it’s become it’s own entity. I still have a lot of furniture to sell on craigslist, an entire kitchen to dismantle, and of course figuring out if everything I’m planning to pack in the car will actually fit!

Moving has been a regular fixture in my life. I’ve lived in Dallas, East Lansing, Detroit, Tokyo, Buffalo, and Pittsburgh. The cycle of weeding out, packing up, transporting, and unpacking has come so frequently that I often start to feel anxious if I’m NOT planning on moving somewhere. This combined with my need for efficiency and fear of not making a correct choice have created this monster of a month: May. And it starts tomorrow.

To be fair, I have already moved many boxes and six bookshelves to a storage unit out by the Pittsburgh airport. The items in storage are essentially things that I valued too much to give away, but were not worth the risk and expense of moving across the country for a short term stay. This leaves my current house in an odd state of holding both the things that I value the most and absolutely MUST take with me to California (shoe collection, doggies, toothbrush) and things that are easily replaced and therefore must be sold to come up with more moving money. And the kitchen, but that’s another story.

One of the things I’m trying to sell is a wooden dresser. There’s nothing particularly special about it; It’s a solid oak dresser with four drawers. It was once housed in my Grandparents’ cottage in Clear Lake, Indiana. (Coincidentally where the band Creedence Clearwater Revival got it’s name from.) When they passed away, my Mom ended up with the dresser, which made it’s way to my high school closet. It has held socks, undies, sweatshirts and a variety of coloured stockings over the years. It’s something that I’ve had for a while, a staple in my bedroom setup. Nothing is wrong with it, and even better, I like it.

The process of moving really forces you to look at your stuff in a different way. Is the dresser worth paying $10-$20 a month to sit in a storage unit for a year? Is it worth renting a truck so I can move it to another state? No. The reality is, I could probably find something similar at the Salvation Army. And just like that, the history of that dresser, and moving it around to all my different places in Pittsburgh all comes down to a simple Craigslist ad: Dresser for sale, $55, must go by the end of the month.

As a sidenote, my awesome hairdresser just called and she’s opened up her own salon starting tomorrow. I guess May is bringing changes for a lot of people! As a final act of rebellion, I will be getting a non-natural colour put on some of my hair. Exact shade: to be determined.

33 days left in Pittsburgh

There are officially 32 days left until I leave Pittsburgh. It’s strange how much this city has become home to me. It’s now in second place for “Longest amount of time living in one general geographical area”. First place is still Western New York, though I would argue that Amherst, East Amherst and Lockport(-ish) are all so different that it shouldn’t really count.

I came to Pittsburgh as a freshman at Carnegie Mellon University in the Fall of 2010. Now I have 32 days left in my life as Assistant Director of Admissions at CMU, living in a row-home and shopping at Giant Eagle.

As my first entry, this is my official declaration to the world that I am going for it. After two years of living a fairly average and socially acceptable life (for a humanities major anyways) I realized that not only was I unhappy, but the one thing that took up most of my time (my job) was preventing me from doing anything about it. After being rejected from all nine MFA graduate school programs that I applied to, I knew I needed to take drastic action.

In 32 days, I will finish selling off my furniture, pack up what’s left into my car* and drive across the country from Pittsburgh to San Francisco where I will be living with my boyfriend and working exclusively on writing stories for my applications. I hope you will join me and see how it all works out!

Also, my name is Jackie Sizemore.