boxing we into me


I bought a house 2 weeks ago, just started packing a few days ago, and I move in less than 3 weeks.  It’s been raining for 3 days.  It is damp and gray and the air is thick with melancholy.

Packing has been an emotional mindfuck.  It’s not just a matter of putting shit into boxes and taping them up, because that would be easy, a pain in the ass, but easy.  Each room, each part of our previous life together must be examined, categorized, dissected and separated.  The camcorder and tapes we filmed the birth of our children on, the wedding photo’s, the collection of sentimental cards, notes and items collected over the past decade together.  Birth certificates, marriage licenses, passports, books, souvenirs.  The junk drawer filled with items, each with its own story attached.  I’m tangled in a web of the past and I know the only way out the back is through the front.

I take a deep breath, turn up the music, and tackle drawer after drawer, shelf after shelf, closet after closet.  I let the tears come when they must, the smiles emerge when they choose, and the occasional laughter echo through the emptiness of barren rooms.

This is the embodiment of closure.  Finality.  Where we becomes me.  Yes, it’s just stuff, but stuff has a way of bringing you to your knees when you least expect it.  I am an extremely sentimental creature, it’s my nature.  I collect random items of no apparent value other than the reminder of the event it is attached to.  There is a lot of purging to do in this area.  It is extremely difficult, and also incredibly cathartic.

It is not always easy to move on from the past. But it is far more detrimental to hold on to it, allowing it to obstruct our path of progress and hinder our essential self-growth.

Each box is a metaphor.  Each item a story.  Every box that closes is the end of a chapter, a new one to be rewritten on a new shelf, in a new home, and a new life.

27 replies

    • I don’t know about the best line ever, but it’s certainly true. It’s the dumbest little things that can knock the air out of me…a match pack, an old coat, a stupid container of Gold Bond powder…seriously, it’s so random.

      I remember when my Mom died of cancer 10 years ago. For the next year the most random things would completely melt me. I had a meltdown in the grocery store over a bunch of asparagus, I mean, total and complete breakdown right there in the produce aisle remembering a time in her kitchen. I just sat on the floor and cried for a good 5 minutes. A very kind and gentle woman asked me what was wrong and I just told her between sobs that I had just lost my Mother and the asparagus made me sad. She sat with me, right there, and rubbed my back and stroked my hair in such a motherly way. I’ll never forget that, she was my saving grace in that moment.

      I guess we never know when and what will trigger our emotions, but we can always bank on the fact that life will be full of triggers, and it’s just how we choose to move through them that matters.

      • Losing a parent to illness is devastating – and breaking down for the smallest thing would be something I’m sure I’d experience as well. I its nice to know that there are actually people out there that can offer kindness when most people would just veer around you or bypass the aisle all together.

        That sentence was so succinct. I felt the same way about ‘stuff’ when my son was born and so very ill. I couldn’t contemplate seeing his nursery or having any of his Christmas gifts (he was born on Dec 22) or anything that would visually remind me that he wasn’t home and might never come home. I know the power of ‘stuff’ –

  1. I’m not going to say I understand, as I don’t. But I did have to help my mom do this a few months ago. I know how tough it can be. I’m glad that you seem to be hitting this with a somewhat positive attitude. Blessings and good luck.

    • Thanks Jon, I’m trying to do this in the healthiest way possible. I’m allowing myself to move through the feelings instead of shoving them down. I see the light at the end of the tunnel.

      This year has been nothing but change. My whole world had to explode apart into a million little pieces and bleed all over the fucking place and I am now rebuilding a healthy foundation which I never truly had.

      As my sponsor texted me the other day “AFGO”. I replied “what the hell is that” to which she replied “Another Fucking Growth Opportunity”.

      And another, and another, and another…

  2. Ahhhh Trac- I totally understand and empathize. Separating from life as I knew it, was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I feel like I’ve written every word that you wrote. I hope we can spend some time together soon.

  3. “Yes, it’s just stuff, but stuff has a way of bringing you to your knees when you least expect it.”

    “Where we becomes me.”

    Coulnd’t have said it better myself, Tracy … been there and I understand. We will always have stuff in our life that will bring us to our knees when we least expect it, it’s the pulling ourselves back up that makes us stronger. This journey will make you stronger, hang in there & best wishes in your new home.

  4. I’ve been there and it’s so hard to process all of it, all the emotions, especially when you are trying to be a mom at the same time. One of my favorite quotes after rebuilding my life was and still is, “Now that my house has burned down, I have a much better view of the moon.”

  5. Hang in there Tracy. I still have some of these boxes and memories from my divorce that will take me out if I let them. There is nothing easy about the experience but you have written it beautifully. I hope your new home can contain your Paul Bunyan growth spurt this year. Thinking of you and wishing you the best in your transition.

  6. You amaze me, and the way you are handling all of this change in your life is truly commendable! I wish you the best of luck and hope that you can embrace all that fun things that come from moving forward.

  7. I can’t imagine the past year you’ve had, the sobriety, the separation, the divorce, the new house. But reading about some of it, I can tell you are on your way to being OK. You’re amazing, and don’t forget it.

    I’m trying to figure out a way to end this with a smart-ass comment so I don’t sound like an overly emo tool, but oh well. I am what I am… 😉

  8. I hope you left your house to the local fire department to use as a training tool. It can be very cathartic watching that sucker burn.

  9. Hi Tracy,

    I have done this, and it is so hard. I am still going through boxes I packed years ago. In fact I just said to my BF today, I am going to take a half hour here and there and get through some of these photos and papers and mementos but just one small handful at a time. It’s too hard. Big Hug, you are brave!


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