Tuesday, December 9, 2014

what cleaning out my storage unit meant to me

Today I wrote a letter to a friend and after I'd written a reflection on my recent experience with my storage unit I decided I wanted to share it with y'all. Here it is:

One of the best things that happened in the past couple weeks was that I spent 4 days going through my storage unit in Indiana. It's been in storage since I left Indiana 4.5 years ago. I thought I'd retrieve it years ago, but it just hasn't happened. I threw away or gave away half of what was in the unit--4 SUVs full of stuff! + a truck-full of stuff (someone came & picked up the mattress, armchairs, etc.)--including a number of things associated with previous relationships. I went through every box I had in there, re-packed a bunch of stuff, gave books to the library, remembered a whole lot of things that I'd forgotten I had, and generally reconnected with my own history. 

For the couple months prior, I'd had this sense that I should return to the storage unit, which didn't even make sense because I don't have the money to actually retrieve the stuff from the unit, but I heeded the sense anyway. And somehow, I'm not even entirely sure how, it ended up being a much more profound experience than I'd expected. I came away with this understanding that I so often have settled for a dim vision for what is possible for my life.....I think maybe because there are lots of things in the storage unit that remind me of past romantic relationships, and the ways that I allowed things to happen that I didn't want...it was a kind of resignation, a sense that I couldn't expect anything better from life, so why even try? (I also saw all the pretty clothes that I own--not necessarily fancy, but pretty-- that I'd forgotten I had because they've all been in storage for 5 years....which somehow seems like such a metaphor...) I don't want to do that. I think I've gotten much better about not doing that, and I want to do better still. Not even so much in the romantic arena (although there too!) as in life as a whole. I can, and want to, dream of a good life for myself, one with joy and calm and creativity, and then live into that life.

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