Spring cleaning…sort of.
In the past month and a half of freedom, I’ve slowly been going through piles and bags and boxes of stuff that’s been sitting around fairly undisturbed for the past couple of years. It’s been a strange process. What draws me to some stuff on some days, while some other stuff remains untouched through intentional (and sometimes subconscious) avoidance? I’m discovering that a lot of the stuff with which I surround myself is emotionally charged to some degree, and I’m not always ready to part with things, so I reshuffle. Little by little I try to piece together the meaning of this stuff, why I choose to hold on to some things while others quickly get tossed into the “donation bag” or recyclables or trash. And then some days, like today, I discover all sorts of little treasures: the MP3 player full of the B-52s and other danceable ’80s music that’s been MIA since my days in the chem lab in grad school, the cheap (but good) laser pointer I bought for my cat (but couldn’t get to work when I bought it because I stupidly put the batteries in backward), the bottle of perfume from undergrad that sends me back 10+ years to much more hopeful, naïve days.
A lot of this parallels what I’ve been struggling with psychologically over the past few years, as I try to weed through the confusing clutter of memories lost and found, beliefs I’m not yet ready to part with, emotions that some days overwhelm me and other days I avoid. What do all these things swimming around in my brain mean? Which things can I get rid of or reshuffle so that I can move on? What surprising things will I learn about myself as things shift and I free myself from the burden of hauling so much stuff around?