Letting go of things is hard for me. With every move, I feel that desire to clear things out...but when it comes to actually doing it, I have to close my eyes and throw stuff into the box.
My husband takes it out of the house for me. Not knowing what kind of home we will end up in next makes me long to just keep everything. What if those curtains that I haven’t used in the last four homes and are really not even in style any more fit perfectly at our new house?
What if that piece of furniture looks great in the front hallway next time, even though it has looked awkward in every home we have ever lived? I know that one piece is broken (from that terrible moving experience a decade ago), but I promise I am going to fix it when we finally buy our own place!
Then there is the sentimental value of things.
Logically, I know that they are only things. But I am that person who legitimately has a terrible memory. Things that I can see, touch, and feel help me feel connected to people and remember important events from the past. I am that person who has a ridiculous amount of pictures on her walls and on every surface in my home. It is near impossible for me to get rid of a photograph. Books, knick-knacks, t-shirts, furniture pieces…so many of them hold precious memories for me.
It is really hard to let go.
Moving away from people I have grown attached to is difficult. Even when we are at a duty station I don’t love, leaving the people is emotionally draining. Every time we move, I feel like we are leaving behind a little piece of our life. Letting go of belongings every time we move seems to compound that feeling of loss for me.
Perhaps that is why I am not ready to open that one box.
Why I am willing to let the movers just tape it back up, throw another sticker on the side, and load it onto the truck. One day, when we are finally moved into our “forever home” and are starting a new chapter of our lives that is not filled with acronyms, deployments, and uniforms...I will open it up, browse through random items that I don’t even recall owning and reflect on what the multitude of stickers on the side has meant for our family.
Yes, I think I will leave that one box just where it is for now. As for those curtains? Yes, I agree…it’s probably time to let them go.
By Erin Whitehead for Military Spouse. Used with permission.