Dear Mr. VP,
Tonight your worst nightmare come true and I found myself, quite literally, in the closet. (Well, maybe your worst nightmare is actually people coming OUT of the closet, but either seems pretty bad to you.)
Cleaning and packing lead you to things you couldn’t bear to part with for some reason, but also remind you of something maybe you don’t want to be reminded of, so you’ve shoved it away in the deep recesses of a closet.
Like your the wedding photos from your failed marriage. A postcard your first boyfriend sent you when he went on vacation with his family. Minutes from a student group you led in college, in your ex-girlfriend’s handwriting.
With everything shoved out of sight, you can go about your business and pretend it isn’t there. But then eventually something happens and you have to take it all out and deal with it again, and make yet another decision about what you’re keeping and what you’re throwing away. There’s no doubt that process of taking out and examining can be painful, and maybe best done alone. It allows you the space and time to make careful decisions, and to contemplate your emotional pull without worrying about someone else’s judgment or reaction.
Tonight I threw away four bags of trash and donated nine bags and two boxes of other miscellaneous crap. All out of that closet. I kept one wedding photo. I kept the postcard. I kept those notes. I held them and couldn’t put them in the trash. It’s okay to keep some things around, because our memories aren’t all bad, even if we don’t want them in our faces all the time.
But I also need to remember, in the future, not to keep too much shoved away. It makes moving on a significantly more complicated process than it needs to be, and means way too much time trapped alone in a damp crawl space surrounded by spiders.