Lately I’ve felt myself letting go of our current home, piece by piece, room by room. I’m not going numb but I do feel as if I’m shedding my skin – comfortable, warm skin that I’ve gotten quite used to in almost three years here. Sleek, tight skin. Perfectly matched to my internal organs. And now it’s too small and I’m slithering out and I’m letting it go. Goodbye.
Last week, with three days to spare until closing and 2 1/2 weeks until a complete and utter move had to be made, Cassidy set me up with a packing project: To go through several large boxes of my childhood holiday decorations and keep what I want to keep and trash what I want to trash. A simple request, maybe, for someone without my intense over-sensitivity issues. I don’t even know if “issues” is the word. Maybe Over-Sensitivity Neurosis or Psychosis. I got a bit weepy, to be sure, for a variety of reasons:
1. I thought of my children doing the same thing one day – going through stained and torn Valentines, dusty Halloween bears, chipped snowman figurines – deciding what is worthy of a new home, and what is worthy of a garbage bag. And how do you even put those labels on over 20 years of memories? However dusty.
2. It’s hard to let go. This is the most obvious answer, which is why I didn’t put it first or last.
3. Mainly, it was the fear of the physical objects actually containing memories. I wasn’t afraid to throw away a dusty, empty heart-shaped box of chocolates (that probably still had chocolate residue, ick) that my 8th grade boyfriend gave to me because I actually wanted that thing in my new house. I was afraid to throw it away because I was afraid to lose the memories attached to it. Let me explain:
Ever get a friend request on Facebook and you sort of recognize the name but you don’t remember what phase of your life that person is from, and you accept the request and pore over their photos until finally it comes to you? And then you may think, “Wow. I remember that person, better by the minute, but I NEVER would have ever thought of them again without this reminder. This trigger.”? They would have stayed buried in my mind, but still vivid. Intact but gone. It’s like that. Without looking at that empty chocolate box, I never would have remembered that it existed and how it felt to get my first heart-shaped chocolate box.
Maybe that only happens to me. My brain has strange storage capacity organization sometimes.
When I was going through these old boxes of holiday junk, I started to remember the holiday, the year, the feeling, the moments of life I would NEVER have remembered if I hadn’t been holding these chipped, cracked, dusty, moldy pieces of elementary school holiday party junk in my hands.
Sometimes it’s hard to let go. This is the most obvious answer.
As I started to go through more boxes, I found items that were given to us for our engagement, our wedding, our move to the east coast. These were also things I NEVER would have remembered if they hadn’t been in my hands. Even very recent things. A brain can only focus on so much at once, I guess. I looked at Cassidy beside me and it made me think that we’ve been together longer than it seems. We’ve done a lot of living, for sure, in the five years since we’ve been together, but hell some of it went by in a flash. And I started to think of all of the different incarnations I have adopted. The lifestyles, boyfriends, homes, mantras. I have let go of many things and it has hurt me many times. I have thought I couldn’t possibly go on anymore before letting go of some things. And each time, I have gone on. I have found new happiness. New homes. New lives. I started to think I was a bit of a cat with nine lives or a Time Lord from “Doctor Who” with 13 regenerations.
This thought first came to me months ago but I didn’t know how to verbalize it. I had been contacted by an ex, who I hadn’t seen or really heard from in five years. And I thought about the power we had together; the power we still had with each other, like it or not. And then I became dizzy with the thought about everything that had happened in the five years between contact – I moved to the west coast, got married, moved east, had a baby, had 17,000 bad jobs and maybe one or two good jobs, fell in love with a dog, lost a dog, saw several moose, drove cross country, traveled to new states, and mostly, Scarlet.
Five years. Three or four lifetimes. Incarnations. Homes. Skin.
Sometimes I feel so lost like I’m somewhere foreign and I’m not in my own skin. I feel like I’ll never feel the same comfort I’ve been feeling. And I won’t. I’ll feel a new comfort. A new love. A new home. We can come back again. Regenerate. Rebuild.
I’m not a cat. I’m not a Time Lord (darnit!). But I do shed my skin and start anew.
Soon…live blogging from here…so soon: