Living in Cardboard Boxes

Hiding emotions is not an obligation

Re'al Bakhit
5 min readSep 1, 2019


During my short lifetime of 23 years, I have lived in 9 houses/apartments. And that is without counting the university dormitories and accommodations. This weekend my family and I will be moving to the 10th place.

Moving for me has always been a family affair because in our culture the children tend to live with their parents for a long time. Unless we move to a different country for education, work or we get married then we keep the nest nice and warm. I moved out for university at 16 years old, so I have lived alone since then until I finished my masters and moved back home this past summer. So as of now, I live with my parents and my two teenage brothers. And moving to a different house with them is an ordeal.

During this weekend I can count at least 10 arguments that broke out over silly reasons.

“Where is my box?, I wrote my name on it for a reason” my brother yells from his room

“Do not go into the kitchen, it is a mess and you will break something” Mom warns my youngest brother

“Why can’t we just postpone the move till Wednesday?” he asks sounding very annoyed

“Oh, god how many times do I have to say it, I am leaving for a business trip Wednesday evening” replies my father while applying some duct tape on a box

“Rola, can you stop typing for a second and help out with packing some things?” asks my mom

“It is a weekend prompt mom, I have to get this done” I reply with a mischevious smile.

The truth is I was not working on the article, I was just checking to see if there is a Starbucks next to our new apartment complex.

Everybody is stressed out this weekend, to say the least. Moving houses brings up a lot of emotions for everybody. And as traditional as families get, nobody talks about those emotions. We just bottle them up and pray that we all get through this in one piece. We take out those emotions on duct tape, cardboard boxes and an occasional yell at a family member.

I cannot speak for the rest of the family, but I have bittersweet emotions. I love the neighborhood that we live in at the moment and it is close to my new job that…



Re'al Bakhit

Creative Writing MA student at Bathspa university. Published in Better Humans and The Ascent.