As I've begun packing up our house, I've been remembering some of my previous moves. One of the best and the worst was at the end of my second year of my PhD. My long-term girlfriend had broken up with me -- she'd moved to my Grad School Town to live with me, and within a few months begun an affair with a seriously crazy person (who then harassed her for years). After that affair had ended, and we'd tried to work things out, she took up with her boss. And at that point I said we had to break up. (Of course, being young and stupid (and lesbians), we then got back together a couple years later for 9 months before ending it truly and finally.)
So my heart was broken, and I was stuck living in the same apartment with my now ex-girlfriend for a long month or so before I could start my lease at a new place. Horrible, awful, terrible days. And then I found what would be my last grad student apartment, a place I stayed in for five years, longer than any prior or subsequent residence. It was huge and quirky and old-fashioned and I loved it. But I wasn't yet strong and heroic or even able to see how great my new solo life would be -- I basically felt like a wrung out dishrag. But my friends all took my side and descended on my apartment at 10 in the morning, each packing stuff into cars and the pickup truck my old college roomate's husband had driven 150 miles to help me with. (She had to work that day, but sent him instead). Within a very short time we were unloading at my new place. I must have had five or six people with me that day, and their support (physical and emotional) was so incredibly helpful. People who weren't even close friends of mine came by -- other grad students who just pitched in and helped. That was a really amazing day -- I feel touched even now, thinking about all the help I received when I needed it.
I used to always offer to help people move -- I'm good at packing things, and fairly strong for my size. I kind of like the brutal physical labor of moving, especially when it's not my own stuff -- it's no stress to just carry things. In recent years most of my local friends have been staying put, or have found themselves in the age bracket or financial bracket where they hire movers. So my moving points might have diminished a little bit -- I used to figure that if I helped people then I'd receive help when I needed it. Not from the same person necessarily, but just evening up the score in the universe.
My gf and I can move almost everything in our house ourselves, just the two of us. Which makes me feel good, that we can be almost self-sufficient in that way. We're hoping to find someone to give us a hand with two large/heavy pieces of furniture. But otherwise I think we'll be able to manage. We're trying to pre-move as much as possible so that when we have the truck we can just focus on the big stuff. This is sort of a new strategy for me, so I'm interested to see how it goes.