Letting Go of Who I Was

There are boxes in my office waiting for me to sort them. The presence of boxes awaiting my attention is not that unusual. Things stack up when I get busy, but the contents of these boxes make them unusual. They are things that were dragged out of the back recesses of a storage closet that had to be emptied so that my sons could have it as a closet for their new room. This process of moving them has unearthed many an object which we’d forgotten existed. I’ve found partially finished projects and things I acquired because of something I intended to make. We found toys that had been long outgrown. Load after load has been hauled off to be given to a thrift store. The same fate awaits much of what is in the boxes waiting for me.

I used to sew. I made costumes for kids, Sunday dresses, and other pretty things. I enjoyed sewing and I acquired many fabrics because of their potential. Some of those fabrics became beautiful things. Others sat in boxes waiting. I am not sewing very much right now. When I pulled out those boxes of fabric, I remembered the things I intended to make. It was quite nostalgic, but none of those projects interest me anymore. If I were to make time in my life for sewing, I would pick different projects. So I gave away most of my fabric. I retained the tools and books, but the projects in potentia are all gone. This means that my sewing supplies fit into two boxes. I have more space for the things than interest me right now. At some point in the future I may sew again. If I do, then the sewing supplies will expand. In the meantime, I have more space and that is good.

The sewing things are only one example. This process of clearing out keeps bringing me in contact with who I used to be. I find remnants of old dreams and I remember them being important. Part of me wants to hold on for memory’s sake. Yet if I want to fully become who I am now, I have to let go of who I used to be. This is the process of life at all stages. We don’t stop growing and changing just because we hit adulthood. Realizing this is one of the reasons that I cut eight inches off my hair. For ten years I was a person who truly enjoyed having long hair. I liked the interesting things I could do with it. Lately all that hair started to feel more like a burden than anything else. So I let it go. Now I can discover who I am with shorter hair.

I sorted my closet and got rid of used-to-be-favorite clothes. I culled the bookshelves of books that no one in our family loves. I dug into the electronics bin and got rid of things which have no real purpose for us anymore. We packed beloved family toys for young children into boxes and put them into storage to await grandchildren. I am making space in my house. It is time to clear all of this away because I want space to grow. I want space for my children to discover who they are as teenagers and fledgling adults. I want our surroundings to reflect who we are now. Reminders of who we used to be are fine and good. We keep the the things we still love, but we don’t want to be burdened with caring for and storing the past.

It feels like a good process.