one sunny Sunday in April

Amongst the damp and darkness of my garage this was growing…

This was a text message I sent a girlfriend this afternoon, but I couldn’t help but think how symbolic. All this, all this junk I’m trying to cut, things with memories that drag me down and keep me from moving forward.  To find a lily growing out of the darkness.

But let me back up.

Last night I decided I was going to tackle my garage, I would spend the day digging into it and sorting it.  This is a project I have been dreading for a long time…  It’s not just that it needed to be cleaned, I had packed things in there when I first moved here back in December of 2010 and not touched them since.  I was dreading those things.

Well, I woke up this morning feeling like I got a decent night’s sleep -amazing what not waking up to an alarm clock can do for one’s soul.  So a pot of coffee later, two slices of left over pizza and cracking open a monster energy drink, I tossed on jeans and a tshirt, weaved my earbuds under my shirt up my back and stuck my phone in my back pocket.  Took a deep breath and flung open my garage.  Here we go….

An hour or two in, I had unloaded the side of the garage that was entirely packed with junk.  I had three piles going, keep, recycle and donate… and one very large black garbage bag -ok, I filled two.  About this time, one neighbor greeted me in his pajamas -did I mention I started at like 8:30-9 am? Briefly chatted with my neighbor how it was time I cut my mental baggage…and if he knew of anyone who wanted a 6 chair dining room table, they just had to come haul it off.  He said how his daughter might be interested and how he’d like to take a look at it.  He changed clothes and then decided to navigate my mess.  One look at the mahogany table top and one chair, he laughed and said nope, I’m keeping this for myself!  I will gladly take it off your hands.  When he asked me why I no longer wanted this gorgeous dining room table, I told him: it’s a life I no longer have.  I would rather know that it is being filled by a family sharing food and good memories than just wasting away in my garage unused.  Truth, is it was meant just for that. For children spilling things, adults laughing… right now that is not my life.  I will not have any more kids of my own, but some day, maybe I will again be at a table filled by my family and loved ones.  But right now, right here, that is not it.

Between my neighbor, his nephew and myself; we dug out the table top, the legs for it and the six chairs then hauled them over to his garage.  I felt something inside me release.  I continued to unload boxes and sort them further into the piles.  One of the totes I opened to see what it was, I found old framed art…my art.  I posted the following to my facebook page.  Initially, I was hesitate to do so.  But then I thought, why?  Who are we worried that will see that you are cutting ties with your physically and emotional baggage?!?  Posted.

One pot of coffee, a monster and some leftover pizza. I’m finally after 6 years, digging into a corner of my garage….boxes that were packed up in Connecticut, things that were Haley’s as a toddler. I haven’t been ready to deal with this until now. 😢💔 I’m torn between cutting the boxes open to make sure there’s nothing to keep and just dropping all of them at Goodwill. One tote that I opened had the drawings I did for her nursery. Mixed emotions.

A few more hours, my other neighbor is shorting though countless boxes of toddler clothing, perfect size that her daughter is transiting to.  Two overly stuffed totes and a new Disney Princess tv later.  Watching her shift through my daughter’s old clothing was mixed emotions.  I almost whelmed up into tears when I saw her select a adorable sundress that I very clearly remember my daughter wearing.  These clothes have been boxed up close to ten years.  Ten years that I was not ready to deal with the reality, the reality that my ex husband doesn’t let me see my own daughter.  The reality that this is a life I no longer have… The reality that I had been holding onto these clothes because I was not ready to deal with the loss of the lie, of what I believed life was suppose to be.

Between the two neighbors, I made the first of two recycling center runs.  My hands literally shook a bit as I drove with my Jeep packed.  Things that were beyond salvage and just needed to be gone.  Things I had been holding on to for no good reason.  I had turned on some country music and Chris Stapleton was the first song to play….

You only need a roof when it’s raining
You only need a fire when it’s cold
You only need a drink when the whiskey
Is the only thing that you have left to hold
Sun comes up and goes back down
And falling feels like flying till you hit the ground
Say the word and I’ll be there for you
Baby, I will be your parachute

It made me smile.. how in the moment accurate.  I listened to the song on repeat for a good portion of the rest of the day.  It made me feel better, a little more at ease at what I was doing.  Digging out my emotional baggage and eliminating it from my life.

After the second neighbor came through, I loaded up the second recycling center run.  Then dashed home to see just how much I could cram into my Jeep to take to Goodwill before they closed in an hour.  I literally crammed from top to bottom front to back, my four door Jeep full of boxes and bags of old clothes.  It took bin bins at Goodwill to get it all out… I dove back feeling slightly numb, over caffeinated and weird… Not really knowing exactly how I should feel.  I got home and sorted through the last of the things that were left outside the garage.  Organized what had been left in shambles inside the garage and neatly stacked and put things away.  The garage is not done, there are still more boxes to go through, but they are all my old belongings.  There are still more things to be donated.  But for this attack, I feel good at the enormous dent I put into the garage.  Hell I could almost park a Mini Cooper in there now, alongside my own vehicle.

Now, a few hours after closing the garage door, another two slices of leftover pizza and a shower… I feel better.  Tired.  A bit of a headache, ok a whooper of a headache.  But I feel lighter.  My soul is happy with today’s progress.  Like literally lifting a dark sore from your heart.