I unpacked a box today that I pack away several years ago when I left my home and career. I’ve been… sort of, in transit since then. On the top where numerous pairs of professional shoes. Several pairs I tossed to the side remembering that I really didn’t like them. They just weren’t comfortable.
I reached for the one pair I forgot I had. A pair of boots I got at a thrift store for $2.95. Yup. I bought them when I was a single mom and money was tight. And I loved them. It was like they were one with my feet. Finding a pair of shoes like this is rare.
I looked at the heel and saw that the soul had dry rotted and cracked. Damn! I also saw that I wore off one of the heels. As I looked at all the pairs, this would have been the only pair I would have chosen to keep. Well, for 2.95, I definitely got my money’s worth. Letting go and into the trash they went. The others – donating. They really didn’t fit correctly before and now I won’t allow myself to make them fit. Do you see the symbolism, on many levels, in this short story?
Oh, but the fun wasn’t over yet.
Under the shoes were several workout clothes. I burst out into tears. Oh gheez. I thought this would be so easy. Open box, put items away, job done. I wasn’t planning on having this emotional trip down memory lane. It’s just I remember buying each one of these outfits. I use to be morbidly obese and a couch potato. I never dream I’d become a workout addict, bench press competitor, marathon walker and long distance biker. EVER! I rarely bought myself anything and remembered trying on each outfit and being shocked my body was wearing colorful and skimpy clothes verses very drab and covering sweat wear. Honestly, it would take some time to get used to the new me. Each outfit seemed to have a memory attached. Oh I wore this when… Gheez… how can one become attached to clothes? This seems silly.
So, I took a breath. I asked myself, who have you become? I’m no longer a work-out addict. Back them it was my only release. It was my sanity… my church. My fellow gym buddies were my family. Honestly, I joined the gym hoping for a date but made lasting friendships that were much more important. Serendipity. Now I feel certain they were a part of my soul family and this is how we agreed to meet this lifetime.
I’ve changed so much in the past few years, I am not these uncomfortable professional shoes either. All the items in this box did serve their purpose. Now, there is no reason to hold on. Yet, I must have lived in the depression or been a hoarder (seeing value in everything) since at times I have a hard time letting go. Often we “pack up” and when we are ready, we “unpack”. We can choose to be on auto-pilot and stay the same and hold on to too much or, take the time to remember (honor) and release.
What I found in this box was the old me. I am not the old me yet I am so grateful. The old me got me to where I am today.