An old pair of sandals caught my eye as I walked by my closet. I reached down and pulled them out from under a huge bag of bedding I’m convinced I will use again someday. I’ve been meaning to drop by the goodwill but I can’t seem to find the time. My eyes make contact with an old black toilet seat, (I was going to redo a bathroom in black and white but it never happened) crammed between my daughters old tea set, and a basket of baseball hats that are no longer wearable. There are four floral memory boxes stacked on the top shell, one for each kid, filled with baby books, clips of hair, all their baby teeth (gross), old birthday cards, baptismal certificates, and such. My closet is out of control. I have an assortment of amazon boxes, with God knows what, packaged up for reasons unknown to anyone. Am I insane? My clothes are so tightly packed, I can hardly get to my yoga pants, which is all I wear. I yank out a lime green jacket with shoulder pads. (Why did I ever think this was hip?) Confetti falls out of the pocket. I must have worn this for New Year’s at the turn of the century. Clearly I’m in need of closet therapy. This space has become a personal shrine honoring a life I left behind decades ago. Am I so attached to the past that I can’t let go of a pair of sandals I wore in the 80’s? I’ll just put it out there, “My name is Cheryl and I’m a hoarder.” I think there is a series on HBO about people like me but I don’t think it’s helpful to label. I look at the sandals dangling from my fingers and find it necessary to engage in a little self-talk, “These are no longer serving your needs.” I did commit to living in the present this summer so begrudgingly I dump the sandals in the garbage. Exhausting work. I realize I can’t go back to the life I have redacted to perfection, the one I have immortalized in scrapbooks, but I can always come back later and retrieve those sandals. Now that’s what I’m talking about, “Living in the Gap.”
What are you holding on to? Let it go in the comments.