When my ex & I separated, I took so few things. I didn’t want a lot from that house, honestly. Over the years, I’d become completely overwhelmed with more than a decade of pat-rack accumulation. There was so much.
So much stuff. The mess of that house was the face of our despair. I took my books & my clothes and not much else but a fake plant. Not a coffee table, not a sheet set. Not a couch. Not a fork, not a cup, not a pot to piss or cook in. I started my life post-separation in a mostly empty apartment of which I was incredibly grateful. The emptiness, a reminder of the freedom from all sorts of messes I’d been eager to escape.
It became very apparent, very quickly the one thing I had too much of, the one thing that could make even a mostly empty apartment seem downright filled to capacity was the ridiculous amount of clothes in my closet. And on the floor of the closet. And next to the bed. And on the floor of the laundry room. And everywhere.
Still. I couldn’t get rid of them. Emotionally. Physically. Spiritually. The sadness of the separation itself made it difficult to do anything, to lose anything else, anyone else. Not my jeans too. Y tu Brutus?
The clothes were just the beginning really. There was so much more I needed to get rid of, to pare down. How do you let go of all that is familiar and comforting even as it continues to stress and dismember any semblance of peace?
It took me over a year -emotionally, physically, spiritually- but I ended up donating 10 garbage bags full of clothes & jewelry to the Goodwill. The donated shoe count got up to 54 pairs. I still think about those clothes, some of them. There’s one cream, sheer armed shirt from Target. That one, I lost. There was one really nice, LBD, fitted, warm and glorious. Both, ironically enough got left at the house I think. But most of them I don’t miss at all.
The gain is too good to be true.
I recently cut more than 14 inches of my hair off.
From wedded day hair bliss…
I was tired of the hair maintenance. I’d always rather spend time snuggling my boys on pizza/movie night or hanging out with my new husband during times I should have been performing the necessary chores in order to keep my big, natural hair healthy.
But, bigger than that, I was ready to pare down. I was ready to loose myself from the cultural ideas that my “long, pretty hair” made me a better person or a prettier woman. I wanted a drastic reminder that I’d be okay with less.
But even bigger than that, I was bored. I was tired.
Tired of playing with it, tired of spending money money on expensive hair products and bored to smithereens watching YouTube hair tutorials so I could learn how to maintain and style those long locks.
It took me a few months. Outside of my husband, I knew very few would support the big chop until after it was done. I tossed & I toiled, but I followed through. I don’t feel as pretty or even normal, but it was time to pare back and it’s okay. I am okay. I lost some things.
I lost some hair.
I lost some things that will grow back. I’ll live.
I lost some things that won‘t grow back. I’ll live.
Recently, my new husband & I lost two precious little babies we desperately wanted and put great effort & planning into conceiving. I had two miscarriages in three weeks time. I wrote about that here.Obviously, those losses weren’t intended. I wasn’t paring down, by any stretch.
We lost those beloved babies, but we survived, as humans tend to do in the face of our greatest enemy: death itself.
Today, I mourn the loss of a young man, taken far too young from cancer. His young wife, their young daughter, everyone it seems, is facing life’s ultimate paring system.
I believe God’s grace is sufficient to cover us all in our losses whether we choose to acknowledge, believe or hope in it.
Masked as our losses are by divorce, stuff, miscarriages & cancer. Loss is loss. Reminders telling us another day has passed without a reasonable solution or explanation. Every loss is tragic.
Also, I pared down my blog way down. Mostly, I’m over myself. For now.