Opal Siren

My life in dreams

Confessions of an emotional hoarder

on January 6, 2012

In a few days we will be packing our entire lives and moving to VA. It has been a very tumultuous ride living here as well as moving. We spent the first three and a half years of marriage here in PA, as well as so many ups and downs with both of our families. In a way, we are both looking forward to this move, although not so excited about the location.

The hardest part about this moving process was packing. I could not believe the amount of possessions both of us had accumulated over three and a half years. Most of our wedding gifts were neatly stacked in our closets, still unopened, staring at us.

This entire packing process has taken over a week to do and we live in a two bedroom, small apartment, with one bathroom may I add. I normally try to do a yearly clean out, where I take out any clothes we no longer use and I donate them to Good Will. This time however, the Good Will center by me was and is closed. The many possessions we no longer needed were placed in a corner until we decided what to do with them. For the remainder of the time, we continued to throw out bag after bag of trash. I was in awe at the amount of things I was holding on to.

One of the most difficult things throughout the packing/cleaning process was going through the pictures, mementos, achievement awards and dolls I had. Yeap, you read me correctly. At the proud age of 30, I had many, many, many dolls, teddy bears and other toys that we had to sort through.

Many of my childhood toys I had donated on a visit to the Dominican Republic a few years back. However, most of the toys I had recently, were collectables and gifts from those that know my fascination with dolls. We shall talk about this in another blog.

Anyway, some of the pictures were not good and I should had gotten rid of them long ago, like ex-boyfriend types of pictures. Other things were letters friends have written to me in the past, drawings from my childhood, cards people have given me, wedding invitations, and other stationary. My husband and I argued a lot about this category of possessions. He wanted to get rid of all of his childhood memories like report cards and trophies, along with all of my stuff. I was hell-bent on keeping them. But then he told me something very valuable. The letters I was holding on to are conversations I already had, I cannot have them again and I cannot bring a person or event back…Why was I insisting on holding on to a conversation from 15 years ago? The pictures….thankfully he is not the jealous type, are only a reminder of where I was at that time. Why was I holding on to something that already happened? Shouldn’t I be creating new memories? He was right, as he always is. I gathered my courage and got rid of all that stuff I was holding on to. I felt like and emotional hoarder. Holding on to a feeling I felt or an event that happened was not going to bring the past back, I need to just move forward.

I sorted through everything, keeping only the things that were important and that I may one day share with my own children. Things like SOME achievement awards, ONE wedding invitation instead of 30, TWO of my favorite teddy bears instead of 50, and a FEW of my husband’s trophies from his little league days. I was heartbroken, but deep down inside I knew I had to part from these things one day. It was not healthy to hold on to EVERYTHING, as if time never should had passed. It was difficult, but I knew I had to do it for my sanity and for much-needed space.

Perhaps I did not wat to let go of the good times I spent growing up with my grandmother, or a feeling of happiness I may have felt while a picture was being taken. However, I know that in order to move forward and start fresh, I needed to get rid of the past, physically and emotionally.

I must admit, it was very difficult to get rid of some of these things, a lot harder than I thought. I normally do not have a problem cleaning my closet, shoes or other things. This one category of stuff…. was tough. Maybe it was because many of the past feelings and resentments resurfaced this holiday season? Or maybe it was because 2011 was a very difficult year for us and this was the icing on the cake? I am not sure. But, I did not know I would feel this devastated and relieved at the same time.

See you next week from our new place!!!

Happy Reading!!!! 

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One response to “Confessions of an emotional hoarder

  1. Jennifer says:

    It’s so hard to leave the past behind sometimes. I know that eventually I’m going to have to go through our attic and clean out a lot of my old stuff as well.

    I know the move will be rough, but you’ll be ok! I’ll send you some helpers. 😉 Baby girl would just LOVE to help you unpack!

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