#tb: trash the evidence.
The following was written in 2010; nothing has been changed. Like what you’ve read? Enjoy my #tb (throwback) blog series as I count down the days until my second book, How to Make Lemonade, is released on December 2nd!
DAY 7: TRASH THE EVIDENCE
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Today, I was handed my most challenging task yet—getting rid of everything relationship-related. I was instructed to box up pictures, ticket stubs, clothing items, cards, notes, etc.
So I did. But it was not easy.
I got a box and packed it with ticket stubs, books he bought me, notes, recipes I cooked for him, a photo album, sidewalk chalk I used to ask him on a date, the napkin I put my number on…I even gave away a box of his cigars to the guys at work.
But the most difficult thing to get rid of was the bottle of wine he brought me for our first date. I kept it and moved it with me and now I had to pack it away for good.
Now would be a good time to explain my fear of baggage. Not only do I hate getting rid of the physical leftovers of a relationship, I hate creating it, too. Sounds crazy, right? Ever since my first breakup at 16, I’ve had a difficult time with the act of throwing out The Stuff. It’s such a sad, but necessary, ritual.
Sometimes, I only have a few things to throw out, other times more. But I notice the more and more relationships that end, the less stuff I have leftover. I have a fear of ending up with too many photos, too many ticket stubs, dried flowers, notes…too many wine bottles if you will.
In a nutshell, I’m terrified of having too many memories. Yes, I know, I sound like a crazy person. It’s impossible to have a meaningful relationship without creating memories—the good and the bad; it’s just part of a learning process. Maybe when the right man comes into my life, I won’t be afraid to share lots of memories; because I’ll know they won’t haunt me later.
If I could box up my bitterness; I might be getting somewhere. But I can’t—I just have to face it like a big girl.
So I filled up the designated box with everything I could find in my apartment that reminded me of him. And although The Frisky said I didn’t have to throw the box away, I did. I needed to.
It’s something I’ve always done; a cleansing ritual. However, this meant another trip to the dumpster—a multilayered fear (especially after yesterday). So I slowly made the walk to the dumpster; you would have thought I was walking to the electric chair.
Upon arrival, I found my friends again—the raccoons. But they let left me alone today. After a few deep breaths, I threw away three years of the physical baggage.
Telling people was one thing, but this, this was not a fun task. My walk home was hard; I held back tears and hoped the good feelings would come soon.
I haven’t cried much during this process. It’s not that I’m not sad, and I’m definitely not happy, I just feel cold. At least once or twice a day, my mind floods with memories that make me sad, but then they twist into anger. No wonder they call it a roller coaster.
I did keep two things from the relationship that I couldn’t part with—but I’m keeping them a secret. For now, I put them away, because I can’t bring myself to see them. However, one day I may not associate them with my loss. And if I do, I can get rid of them then.
My apartment may be without a boyfriend, but it’s filled with things that are mine; memories that are mine; pictures of my friends and family who will never leave me—and I’m forever thankful for that. Today may have been difficult, but I’m taking it one day at a time (baby steps), and I know tomorrow is a new day.
Posted on November 15, 2013, in The Ingredients and tagged breakup guide, breakups, college life, dating, drinking, ex boyfriends, fighting, heartbreak, Holly A. Phillips, How to Make Lemonade, life, love, relationships, sex, single, The Bitter Lemon, The Frisky, twenty-something. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.