Today is my last night sleeping in my old place. It was supposed to be last night but in a fortunate set of events I actually got to push it a day. At this point I’ve got most of my stuff out and all of my bags are packed and damn does it seem like I’ve got a lot of baggage.
I haven’t even left, but I’ve been forced to do a lot of reflection recently as I prepare for everything that’s about to come.
Every day as I pared more stuff out of my life, it seemed like more hidden parts of what I thought I was done dealing with/ struggling with came to light.
What’s in my baggage:
- Some rational and irrational fears
I’m not afraid to admit that I cried a few times as I packed things up and threw things out. Here is a short list of some of the “stuff” that made the cut and now gets to sit in my storage space until I decide to come back for it.
1. Stuffed animals and baby blanket
My mom tried to toss my 3×3 yellow baby blanket with soothing silk edges when I was 12. I found it in the trash. I washed it and hid it under my daybed for four years until I found it there again, relieved it of its incarceration, and told my mom she couldn’t throw it away again because I would keep it for the rest of my life and give it to my child. The status of the blanket now is – tattered beyond repair, but I can’t bear to part with it, I made a promise to myself back then.
No kids as of yet to take the blanket off my hands, plus a tiny being might choke themselves to death on the holes throughout the thing. Best to buy a new one if tiny version of me ever comes along in my future.
Stuffed animals: Lighty-bear, Horse shack, You are my sunshine Lion. Sometimes they were my only friends as a child.
Lighty-bear, a 20” skinny white bear, on Riri and Raleigh’s Christmas tree at 8 and slept with him in my bed until I left for college. Also, I’m super creative and good at naming things as you can tell.
Horse shack: A tiny gray stuffed horse. Did you ever watch Welcome Back Kotter? Nick at Nite taught me a lot as a kid. This little guy named after Arnold Horshack used to give me advice about the darndest things, like how to avoid certain kids in school.
You are my sunshine Lion: A little windup lion that plays…. You guessed it! You are my sunshine! My mom used to sing this song to me every night as a child, so… that’s going nowhere anytime soon.
2. A few boxes of books
It’s fucking hard to part with books. Ask anyone that has a lot of books how hard this is and they’ll understand. They’ll tell you stories about where they found some of them, how the pages smell, the first time they read the book and what it meant. Ask anyone who owns five and they’ll say, “what’s the big deal? They’re just books.” Fuck you, person with five books, you’ll never understand. Just go watch the movie or tv show about the book you could have read and suck it.
Okay… that’s all really harsh, but I really got to the point where I was irritated with people asking me what the big deal with getting rid of books is.
3. Mom’s Crystal:
Glasses, plates, more glasses, cake tray. I have never ever ever used this except for when I was younger. Three boxes of crystal and 4 years later, it’s just gonna go ahead and chill with me until I’ve got a house and one of those shmancy cabinets allocated for crystal.
4. Journals (Ages 8 – present):
It would be fairly ridiculous if anyone out there asked me why I’m keeping these, but just in case… it’s because when I’m hella hella old and #1. Have nothing to do but read and watch tv and #2. My memories are even worse than they are now (and they’re already pretty bad) then I can look upon the journals with fondness and delight, or more possibly disgust and wtf? Middle school was shitty, so was most of high school, but at least it’ll be a testament to getting through it.
5. Mom’s Jewelry:
so much of it is Gold! Ugh… I look terrible in gold. I will likely not wear much of it, but sometimes when I put it on for just a second, I kind of feel like her. I remember days when I would help her get ready and put the necklaces around her neck. She would smile. She was beautiful. These remind me of everything good.
Tossed (or donated, for the environmentally sensitive):
1. A few boxes of books:
After ranting about keeping books, I did get rid of some because my life just can’t haul the amount that I have. It was time to step away from some, especially the ones that I would likely never read again, for example, My Brit Lit Compendium as well as my Critical Theory books. I’m sure there are some English majors out there cringing, but come on… I’m never gonna be a prof with my grammar and writing etiquette!
2. Mom’s sewing equipment:
This was a hard call. My mom had a sewing machine and a serger that I’ve been carting around since she passed. Well… I did what I had to do, I called Selena and asked her what the fuck I should do. If anyone doesn’t know Selena, she’s basically my friend and my surrogate mom up in Seattle. She’s the bassist for our band NighTraiN and I knew she would know the answer.
“Donate them,” she said.
That’s what I did.
3. Mom’s maijong and backgammon sets
I don’t know about you, but… I really like board games and card games. Luckily cards are easily transportable; what aren’t, are these games. They’ve been moving with me for a while and I haven’t played them. I realized that I could think about them, but I couldn’t play them with her again, so I may as well just play them online like the rest of everything I do these days.
4. Clothing I haven’t worn in centuries
No explanation needed.
Well, I’m not going to go into all that emotional baggage that goes with this. That’ll have to be a later blog because that shit is a little deeper than anyone needs read on a lovely Thursday.