Thursday, March 19, 2015

Letting go is never says Peter Cetera

Spring cleaning has begun in my house.
Typically spring cleaning includes organizing some things, cleaning everything (including walls and ceilings) and donating some stuff. This year it has been especially hard. Hard in that the closer the warmer weather comes along the more I realize that I will have to part with all of my stuff soon. This. This has made me sink into a deep funk.

For those of you who are not regular readers of this here blog of mine (hello and welcome) my family and I are moving across the country sometime this year (from Massachusetts to California). We are just waiting for my husband to secure a job. Once he does we will be moving. The thought of this both excites me and makes me sad. I am happy that with the move we will be closer to his family (have more family supports). I am excited for the chance to be done with snow for a while and having to deal with another harsh winter. Side note: I suspect many New Englanders will be moving to warmer climates after this record breaking winter. 

I am also sad and I don't think it is something that I have really dealt with or vocalized or even was conscious of until I started to clean our bedroom. Sure I am sad that I will not talk to my friends or see them like I do now. It will never be the case that I am having a bad day and I can call my girlfriend and we can met up for dinner and drinks. It will be different. That I know. What I wasn't expecting was how deep my emotional attachment was to my stuff. How am I ever going to get rid of pretty much everything.

I grew up in a working class family. My mother worked in a factory and my father was a construction worker. We lived in an apartment and my parents saved all they could to buy a house. The year I turned 15 they planned to purchase their dream home my father died suddenly of a very short fight (3 months from diagnosis to death) and that dream faded. My mother struggled with depression after his death (and still till this day) and money was tight. We struggled. I was a teenager. Those years are hard on their own. Add dealing with a death of a parent and wearing the same outfit to school everyday and its a nightmare.

When I was able to work I focused a lot on buying clothes. For so long I had lived with little to no clothes (luckily I had friends that I could borrow clothes from sometimes). This was a mindset that I became a stay at home mom. The budget no longer afforded me the luxury of buying clothes every week. I has enough clothes in my stash (two full closet and six drawers full) to last me a while. Over the last two years of staying home it has been easy to not buy, but now, the thought of getting rid of most of it breaks my heart.

The first day I attempted to get rid of some of my clothes I sobbed. I honestly cried. So. I stopped. The next week I tried again. I grabbed one garbage bag and swore I would fill it to the top with donations. It was hard. Take the shirt up top in the photo. It is a tank top that I wore when I was pregnant. It is waaaaay to big for me to wear now, but I cried to let it go. I just couldn't do it. It reminded me of when I attended  my friend's baby shower and how we were on the journey of motherhood together. It reminded me of the day that I first wore it the daffodils were beginning to bloom and I was two months away from meeting my little girl. It reminded me of how carefree live was at that time. My biggest dilemma was what I was going to order for take out. I never worried about how fat I looked then. It was such a nice time.

I began to notice that I had similar feelings with most of my clothes. I had more attachment with the memories attached to them then with what they looked like. I know that now so each week I get rid of a little bit at a time since its not just my clothes that I have to get rid of. It's everything. Everything I worked so hard for. An apartment full of memories must go. I considered transporting most of my stuff, but the cost does not fit into our budget. So, I must just do it slowly each week until I have only a few things that can be shipped or transported in my car. I know it has to be done, but knowing that doesn't make it any easier. It sure is hard to let go.

1 comment:

  1. I have a similar attachment to CDs. We're going through the purging process, planning to move this summer (just a different neighbourhood, not across the country!) - I filled garbage bags with clothes but couldn't bring myself to part with more than a handful of CDs, even though I don't even listen to most of them anymore. I just look at the cover and think of something that happened while I was listening to one of the songs and then can't bear myself to get rid of it. It's a tangible memory! Have you thought of making something out of your clothes? I have a stash of some of the kids' clothes, to make into a quilt when I have enough pieces. (And learn how to sew. I guess that part is kind of important!)