The worst part of moving to a new home when you are in your 30s is letting go of the stuff 20 year old you bought with those first paychecks. Most if the items are still in good condition but you don’t really need them anymore. Some were gifts from people you adore but have outgrown, and/or remnants of the business you left unfinished. Pajamas and knick knacks from Xmas past, the many baby shower and wedding giveaways that weren’t meant to last a decade or two, they all cluttered the new space in a way that was unexpected. Suddenly the meaning behind the keepsake changed; divorces, deaths and moves redefined the life you had planned and gave birth to the life you are now living.
Downsizing the beer and wine bottle collection to relevant pieces was both hard and strange. Surrendering a part of history because it was documented elsewhere was new and difficult. MrEnginerd and I take pictures of everything and document any changes that we observe. Our memory boxes and external hard drive are full of tickets, invitations, cards and mementos of the last 16 years together. It is almost as if we wanted to make sure these waypoints in the timeline were preserved. That there was evidence of the places and experiences we have had, especially those that involved others’ happiness. A few boxes of pure joy and/or deep grief and sadness. We even had a few articles from when we were going to become parents. (See Wrestling Infertility for more details on that journey.)
This new house was meant to be a fresh start. The walls are covered with the items that represent this new incarnation of ourselves. We let go of the old, the worn out and the unnecessary to open up room for whatever the next decades bring to us or take us. If you are one of our friends and are wondering if we kept memories related to you around you are either missing the point of a cleanse or may need some affirmation that we still care. (We do.) After 30 weddings, 50+ showers of all kind and our own milestones, you learn what to keep and from whom. Carrying the weight of remembering all these events was a burden we choose to lighten. We don’t expect people to have our big happy smiling faces on their walls anymore, unless you are our grandparents. 😀 The next time you walk into our house, virtually or otherwise, I hope you can appreciate the evolutionary leap forward we took. These are the wiser, stronger and more sophisticated versions of us. (And hopefully more entertaining and less boring.)
Once the garage sales and such are completed, we will deal with whatever refuses to leave us. Maybe those items will give us a new direction or remind us of roads we left unexplored. Maybe they will become someone else’s bounty when we drop them off at the donation bin. Life defines us in ways we may never comprehend. For now, we will do our best to define our path despite all the unwanted challenges. I sincerely hope the best is yet to come.