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What have you kept from a break up? What have you thrown out? Have you ever regretted throwing something out?

I will confess that I am a packrat.  I’m not a hoarder, but I’m definitely a momento lover.  I suppose it’s genetic, my grandmother keeps everything–especially things from events she attended.  But it seems like the gene just gets stronger as it’s passed on, so now I sit in a home with all kinds of ticket stubs, photos, trinkets, whatever…with very little space to hold it.  Somehow the pack-ratting goes beyond ticket stub momentos to include clothing that I hope to GOD I never wear again, greeting cards from the past few years, plastic cups from football games I’ve attended…the list goes on and on.

Over the past few weeks I’ve started to think maybe these things I’ve kept are dragging me down.  Someone told me in Jamaica “photos are for people who can’t remember”.  I tend to disagree, but I think keeping pointless pieces of paper and clothing that are 4 sizes too big probably doesn’t serve a purpose.  I went through my closet and cleaned out about a third of it this week.  I gave it all away to someone who needed it.  I still need to go through it again.  My next mission is to go through other junky items, like plastic cups, CDs, whatever, and get rid of all that too. I’m refreshed by the idea of cleaning out these things and having less clutter.  The only way to make room for new things in my life…is to get rid of the old.

I sat down to dinner last night and looked at my gooseberry patterned plates.  I bought them when I moved in with The Boyfriend.  They were our plates.  I took them when I left.  I should have left them, but I didn’t. I took them and I’ve been eating off of them for two years.  And every time I pull out the plate with the hole in the center, I remember why that hole is there.  Sometimes I get angry, sometimes I laugh.  It’s an inside joke.  Sometimes it reminds me that I was too harsh, sometimes it reminds me that there is a reason we don’t live together now.  But the point is…it’s a reminder.  And there shouldn’t be a reminder in my house.  I am so protective of my house.  I’m proud that The Boyfriend doesn’t know where it is, has never seen it, will never see it.  It is my piece of space.  And I let these plates come into this space?

There is a drawer in an organizer in my closet.  The bottom drawer.  It’s got the last remaining picture of us that I own.  It’s a professional picture we had made six years ago.  I threw a lot of things away, but I kept that.  We looked young, happy.  I wasn’t ready to throw it away at the time.  I let this picture live in my closet?

My jewelry box contains one piece of precious metal that he gave me.  The first thing he ever gave me, actually.  A ‘promise’ ring that never had the pleasure of being replaced.  I wanted to throw it away, run it over, trash it.  It serves no purpose now.  As callous as it seems…there is no promise left in it.  Broken on both sides.  And my fingers are so slender now it doesn’t come close to fitting.  It looks like it was never made to fit perfectly on my left hand.  It feels foreign when I touch it.  And I let it poison my bedroom?

I found the first mix cd he made me, too.  I listened to it.  Yes, I’m a masochist.  But it was just a collection of songs.  There was no rhyme or reason to any of it.  I couldn’t even remember why half of the songs were on there; I used to listen to that in high school like it was the greatest cd known to man. And it all meant something.

I can’t wait to get home.  I’m donating the dishes (I have Tupperware and paper plates I can feast on until I save for a new set), the picture is being thrown away with the CD, and I am taking the ring to the first Cash for Gold place I pass and getting whatever I can for it.  Because something, anything, is better than having it sit in my house.

I got rid of a lot of things in the beginning. But these things stuck around. I have no idea why. I just know I have to get rid of it all now. There is just no place in my life for these things anymore.  It feels so freeing.


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