This past year has involved a lot of traveling and moving. The one constant has been my little car that has taken me to all of these places. It has been my home and constant companion and the keys to it are accompanied by a different set of keys to a house/room/apartment every month. Each transition brings a time where my car key is the only solitary key on my key chain, which weirdly reflects the uncertainty of the next month. There is always a sense of panic and excitement when I hold my solitary car key at the end of every month. There is also a sense of purpose and acceptance with every new key I obtain at the beginning of every month.
The thing about keys is that we get used to the weight of them in our hands. I personally fidget with mine in my pocket all the time. In normal life, your keys weigh the same month to month. We tend to have the same keys for an extended period of time. For me, the weight of my keys changes every month and it is always a little strange to handle them when this happens. It’s like a little piece of my life disappears when take some keys off. Maybe that’s why I held on to my keys from my aunts house. It was a split second decision but when it was time to give her the house keys back after a month of living with her, I couldn’t. Instead I stated that I was taking them with me and drove off. I eventually gave them back a few months later but it was my way of keeping some semblance of normalcy. They gave me the feeling that even as a vagabond, I still had a place I could go back to and have something that I could claim as my own.
Looking back at my life, I have not stayed in the same environment for more than a year in the last 12 years. This year felt like a culmination of all that moving since I have spent the last 12 months moving every month. My life in general has taught me about minimalism but the last 12 months have taught me that sometimes, the simple things like your keys and their weight and how the feel, can be the most important thing to stay grounded.