day four | The Cull.

Culling and packing, unpacking and culling and packing.

And cull, and pack, and unpack and cull and pack.

Right now it doesn’t feel like this can end with both of us alive. Either a vital zip will break, or I will.

Every time I open up my bag and watch it’s guts spill out onto the carpet, a dull rage rises in me. I hate it all. Every single piece of clothing, shoe, toiletry, or random paraphernalia: all the bloody contents are a nuisance. Practicality is out the window and I want all this shit to follow suit.

There was a time when I loved everything I owned – I can vaguely recall writing about not wanting to depart from any of it.

Well, my friends, things have changed. When you have to squeeze 5+ months worth of life into 120L combined pack volume, I can almost guarantee that you too will start looking at your favourite shoes like a wart that keeps reappearing on your thumb.

There is a reason these posts appear on your feed late at night (Aotearoa time). Its because there was time when old Jess, Wellingtonian Jess, didn’t have to dismantle a cadaver every evening.  Old Jess would snuggle up in bed at some ridiculously early time with a steaming cup of fruity tea and not a care in the world.

New Jess, pre-nomadic Jess, now spends her evenings staring into the abyss that is her belongings, wondering if there is any escape from the black hole called Owning-Too-Many-Things. Then, at the point when old Jess would wiggle herself under the covers and start to dream about being besties with Chris Brown*, new Jess opens her computer and vomits some words onto a blog with very little planning or precision.

I don’t know what the take away from this is, but I am sure that beneath this head of red hair you will find a couple cheeky fresh greys sprouting their way out of my skull. The fact is, when you find yourself packing the bag you will have to carry on your back for the next five weeks, everything you own starts looking like this cactus in a jar: utterly useless.


*Awake Jess has not forgiven Chris for being the absolutely scum of the earth yet, but sleeping Jess doesn’t seem to have quite the same ethical issues with him.


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