Shedding 19 years of skin

I’ve mentally prepared myself for this for months.  I’ve practiced positive thoughts, talked up the positives to most everyone I know, steeled myself, and put on my stoic front.

I got news for ya.  It’s painful.  It hurts like hell.  I’m tired, drawn, exposed, hurt and drained.  I truly thought I was mentally prepared, but I wasn’t.  I don’t need new dreams, I need an entire freakin’ new identity, because I’m leaving behind nearly everything I have been for nearly twenty years.   I’ve always touted that ‘stuff’ doesn’t define you, and I have believed it.  Until I started preparing to give, sell or donate it all away.  Suddenly, that is all words.  It denies the reality that we surround ourselves with things that externalize our internal parts.  I’m not talking about cars, or boats, or tractors.  I’m talking about the guts of a home, the place where you go to be you.  Your safe haven.  Your comfort zone.  I already pared down when I left Florida in 2004.  Then more when I left Virginia in 2008.  A bit more when I left NE Tennessee in 2009.  This time, it’s bare bones. I can rationalize that it is stupid and inefficient financially to store my ‘stuff’.  I know that’s true.  But it still hurts.  Not because anything is extra valuable in a monetary way either.  It’s because I remember the kids doing homework at the coffee table.  I remember building the stupid bookshelves and wrestling with metal shelving all by myself.  The beloved ancient armoire that exemplifies my love of the gardening world.  The rocker my husband surprised me with when he came home from work one day.  The cheery red primitives that I decorated my first solitary kitchen with.  The contents of my home are a blend of the family that I raised, the couple that I used to be a part of, and the slow revelation of who I became after the death, when I was on my own again.  It’s like someone is peeling my skin off while I am wide awake.  I know it has to be done.  But when you add up the loss of the land, the loss of the little farmhouse and the loss of my emotional comfort zone, it’s dizzying.  I hear tell it will be freeing at some later date, but I surely can’t fathom it.

I was doing pretty good, despite being up before six a.m. to deal with a leaky and flooded basement.  I had music going, candles lit, and some goofy things thrown into boxes that make me happy. Things I can’t take with me I photographed, like the birds nest I found in Virginia.  An arrangement made of dried weeds.  This stone garden sat in my home for quite some time.  It’s going with me.

Stone Garden 4.28.13

Knocking out some of the bookshelves was pretty easy. Going through my basket collection and weird kitchenware was kind of fun.  Then I got to the file cabinet in the office.  Ephemera of life.  Ephemera of death. Trails of where I’ve been and things I’ve lived through over nineteen years – some joyous, some horrid.  And I came unglued for a while when this song came on, because it seemed so damn fitting. I know I have to walk on, but dayum…

Hey there Baby, don’t you know?
If you cry, cry, cry, well, it won’t do much
Who’s been there right from the start?
Who’s gonna love you when you are old?

Defeated in the night,
Walk on, walk on.
I can see you in the night,
Walk on, walk on.

Don’t you think that you ain’t been warned?
You have to find your way home all alone,
And walk on streets where you’re not lost.
Crawl, crawl, crawl, I hope you’re home

Conceived in the night,
Walk on, walk on.
I can see you in the night,
Walk on, walk on.

Hey there Baby, don’t you crawl.
If I’m right, right, right, you have been warned.
And don’t you say that you ain’t been warned.
You have to make the best of everything if you are lost.

I can see you in the night,
Walk on, walk on.
Conceived in the night,
Walk on, walk on
Defeated in the night,
Walk on, walk on
I can see you in the night,
Walk on, walk on

But, life rocks on.  Tomorrow will be a new day, even if today I feel like this battered tulip (remember the beautiful tulip that greeted me? This is it after days of rain, wind and frost.)

Tattered tulip

I have always believed that attitude is everything.  I keep this to remind myself of that during the low times.  It’s going with me too 🙂

Attitude is Everything

And because this is the way I live my life, I know things will change.  It is always darkest before the dawn, right?  These are traveling with me as well…

Believe resized

So I’m going to pamper myself before bed with another lovely bath.  We take bathtubs for granted.  We take water for granted.  And maybe by morning my blotchy face will be back to normal and I’ll be able to naturally produce my smile, dimples and all.

Be well.  Hug someone that you love.  Be thankful. Walk on.


  2 comments for “Shedding 19 years of skin

  1. April 29, 2013 at 6:02 AM

    Feelin’ your pain. I hope the “freeing” is true and that it comes quickly.


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