I'm taking a break for a minute from what has been occurring for me as an enormous, life-long task of getting rid of my old stuff. But it hasn't really been going on my whole life. I've been collecting and holding on my whole life. Today I'm letting go. I am laughing about how long I have taken to get rid of this "stuff" and I even hauled a bunch of it back inside the house and right now I'm recharging the batteries of my camera so I can take pictures and show you how crazy this has gotten.
I like myself and I think I'm special and have special things to say. I think that one day I will make special projects, maybe even "art" with my old things that are so special. I have special taste, special points of view, even special friends that I've held onto this archive for my whole, entire life. (You'll see when I get to adding the pictures.)
While the battery is charging let me tell you my daughter is not this way. She is so unbelievably UNsentimental that I can hardly believe she comes from me except for the fact that I saved even, get this (don't get grossed out), her UMBILICAL cord with the plastic thing attached, that I am quite certain she's mine. That was just one of the many jewels I came across today while I've been going through the boxes that have been stashed next to my bed for months since my daughter exiled them from her room. She tosses her old drawings and I retrieve them from the recycling bin. She even got rid of her furniture on her last birthday so she could have more space. (She's 9 if you're just meeting me).
I'm 41 now. I realize I'm not that special. I'm not going to make special art with my special momentos. I have beer bottle labels from a beer factory I visited on my German exchange when I was in Grade 12. I found packs of matches from the same trip.
I've got a $2 Canadian bill. That must be worth something. I have my old journal from when I was 8 (I'm hanging on to that). I've got homework books from all through grade school. An Inuit Project from Grade 7. My paper on black holes from Grade 6. It gets funnier. I was a Who freak for some reason when I was 13. I collected articles and back issues of music magazines they were featured in and I saved every single one of them.
I let go of every wedding card and invitation reply from my wedding over 10 years ago. I called Ian before I tossed them all into the recycling bin as there are cards from family and friends who have passed away and he agreed it would be nice to save some of that stuff, so I made a pile for him.
I have saris from living in an ashram and trips to India, and I've been hanging on to them thinking I'm going to decorate with them or something. Tara at Rama Lotus will be the proud new owner of those things later this afternoon when I go over there to teach.
I'm cleaning up today like my life depends on it. Because it does. If I don't clear out this stuff, it will stay there, cluttering my space, clogging the arteries of my life. Continuing to bother me to the point that I shut down and ignore it, ignoring the things that go with it - broken promises and dreams unfulfilled. I want to let that stuff go. When I came across my draft wedding vows to Ian I was moved. I really meant them at the time. When he returned my call I told him I was sorry I hadn't kept my promises to him. It's not the first time I've said it, but it's okay to go back and say sorry again. I thought it was mutual and that doesn't matter - I promised to stay with him no matter what and I didn't. And he's still there and we're still parenting and my life didn't go as I had planned. And that's really okay. And I can still let it all go.
The battery hasn't finished firing up yet, but I'll see what I can get with a few shots.