Some of us think holding on

Some of us think holding on

makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go. ~Herman Hesse

It’s been, as they say, a journey. And I’m standing in the doorway, crossing from what was to what is becoming.

Our daughter moved into her first apartment in September. It was a chaotic move, as these things can be. I am not sure any of us really thought it was actually going to happen. But it did. And it was the right thing and the right time.

Is there any other thing, person, situation that you cultivate and care for just so they can successfully leave?

I know it isn’t the end, but her beginning and eventually another, yet another for me, for J too. This is hard for him too, but so much more is internal for him than it is for me. I will cry and journal and cry some more. I’ll get excited and thoughtful and busy and then cry again. He processes more quietly.

I’m changing a lot of things, because it is a time of change. I don’t want to blow up my life, but I do want to let go of things that no longer serve me.

I don’t have a lot of anger at the mother because I don’t need to. She’s gone, she can’t hurt me anymore. I am closer to letting go of all the anger at the sister because we’ll never cross paths or even speak again. That’s all done. I think and feel what I think and feel about it and I don’t need to care or know about  anyone else back there in the past.

Some small mundane things as well. Sugar no longer serves me. It makes me feel tired and kinda uncomfortable. I’ve been letting it go with 3 steps forward and 1 step back–mostly in times of being extremely tired of being sad or confused or deeply thoughtful.

I’m trying to let go of being sedentary. That is a thing I focus on now.

There weren’t hobbies in my family except for my Dad and his wonderful garden. Or drinking. I read a lot, that was my hobby-but that has gone from fiction to non fiction. I find that when  Gaia is ill, when the lunatics are running the asylum and taking your rights and the rights of your daughter, when people of color are losing theirs even more rapidly–there isn’t time or energy for the slow build of a fictional book. The fear is ever with us and it feels frightening to look away lest you wake up in Gilead. I hope it will be safe enough, one day for all of us to have the freedom from fear and anger that allows a fuller, less desperate life. I’m very privileged that I don’t have as much of a fight as others and I want everyone to have that same privilege.

I feel self centered and a bit silly writing this, but…All of this, all these changes in our little family and outside our little family need to be thought through, and this is how I do it.

All of everything  is so much larger than the small thing I did today. The small thing that I hope will make me more available to use my time and energy to help.  The small thing which was big for me. I let go of 97% of the clothes that no longer serve me or “spark joy” . There was a lot. The business apparel I’ll never wear again, save one blazer just in case. I let go of skirts of aspiration and tatty old generic t-shirts. I let go of dresses from way back, save one–the Cindy Lauper teal corduroy dress with a sweetheart neckline and mid length skirt. I found it second hand with a couple of my best friends and wore it and wore it and yes it looks well loved. But I did let go of my Dead Milkman “punk rock girl” skirts–the fluffy gingham “look like Minnie Pearl ones “and the twirly black one with the square dancing print. I don’t think I’m ready yet to look at my big stompy boots, but the spooky ones I’ve given to my beautiful, spooky daughter.  Because it was time. And maybe time for some younger person to find a treasure in the nicer of my previous things, the way I did from that teal Cindy Lauper dress, way back when. I can’t go forward holding on so tightly to the past. I have a lot of great memories. A lot of horrid ones too, but I am able to turn away from those more easily now and back to the ones where I’m dancing my brains out with my friends or swooping down Haight Street like a young Morticia. I’d kept a lot of things. Too many, more than I needed, more than I should have had.  I saved some of the spooky bits for E. She can take them or I can let them go. But just the ones that don’t feel right on me anymore.

Because it wasn’t just a phase. It was always just me but me now knows I don’t want to wear baby blue, even in the summer. Or yellow or a dull rose. Or white shirts anytime. I wear black and jewel tones and goofy cat tshirts and still skirts and still leggings. Me now still likes Docs, but pointy heeled Victorian boots don’t go so well with my bum ankle and need to move quicker than they can travel me. I like my Faery boots and barefoot shoes because I feel steadier and faster. I still like converse but maybe not all the time.

It was a small thing and not a small thing. It is acceptance of who I was and who I am. And a comfort with it and I don’t care what anyone thinks about it.

I feel lighter and more likely to do the things I’ve thought about. To help more, to be more of service.

And I finally dyed my hair pink. I don’t think it’s me, but I’m glad I finally did it. Am I too old? According to who? Am I trying too hard? Nope because it is for me not them, not you. And it’s good.

But damn I miss E. She is an amazing person who brought light to our lives and house we won’t see the likes of again. So we’ll have to find other light–not the same, not as bright but still good. Maybe even very good.