We would very much like to decorate for Christmas; however, we have the very real problem of a very full dining room. It is not full of the normal dining room fillers– a large table and chairs, buffet, or hutch. No, our dining room is still full of boxes. I had every intention of getting to the boxes this summer, but my new employment came at such an unexpected time and the boxes had to wait.
Today, I went through some of those boxes, and in doing so, went through several stages of my past. In these boxes were items from college, graduation, Turkey, South Africa, Starbucks, and my first teaching job. There were also random items from the in between times, and mementos from several previous suitors (I’ve been watching BBC shows all day, so yes– they were “suitors”).
I found six journals I began and discarded. A terrible habit. There were Playbills from musicals and endless concert tickets and wristbands. There were reminders of past accomplishments, as well as reminders of things one would rather forget.
I loved showing Brian the old pictures of me and pointing out friends he knows now, as I remember them then. He mocked some past hairdos, but having seen his teenage years in photographs, he couldn’t mock for long.
I sorted out memorabilia from multiple continents into piles before deciding what to keep and what to toss. I have a terrible memory, a fact which was solidified as I thumbed through notes and letters I have no memory of receiving. I also realized that I’ve had many adventures in my life, and a lot of supporters to encourage and care for me.
I’ve gone through these boxes before, some multiple times. This time was drastically different.
There were so many items– letters, trinkets, reminders– that I’d held onto for years and years that were so easy to throw out today, though they had survived several cleanings and consolidatings in the past. But today, I didn’t have to hold onto them. I was able to let go.
I don’t need letters or poems from past suitors. I don’t need every boarding pass to every plane I’ve ever taken. I don’t need every ribbon or clothing scrap for a potential craft project that will never happen. Today, I felt the freedom to simply let go.
I’ve a long way to go until I loose my grip on controlling things, but I do know that being married to Brian has does something to that desire. I don’t need it as much. In fact, I don’t want to control things as much– and that’s a great thing.
Today, as I went through the boxes, I didn’t have that hopeless feeling I had in years past– that feeling like I had to hold onto very love note or ticket or souvenir because maybe those would be the only accomplishments or love or adventure in my life. It’s just not true. I have a great love every day (whether we like each other that day or not). And we have adventures all the time, both large and small. And the accomplishments aren’t on the forefront of my mind as they were back when a medal or ribbon was the measure of approval. Nope. Something has definitely changed.
Though I can’t say definitively what has occurred, I know that the ability to let go has something to do with God in my life and something to do with Brian in my life. And I know it’s a huge blessing, a blessing for which I am extremely grateful.