I’m sentimental. About everything. If there’s a memory to be attached, you can bet I’ll find it. Unfortunately, there is no discernment in which memories I cling to. I hold onto all of them- good, bad, or inconsequential.
Meir had a cross stitched serenity prayer, framed, hanging in the sewing room. I always found it amusing, in my cynical way.
It appeared in the sewing room right about the time I took up residence underneath it. The last thing you see at night? I looked at that frame every night for three years. If she was trying to be subtle, it would’ve been the first time. I read it every night. But I never bought into the practice of acceptance.
Only stability nurtures deep roots. No stability, no roots. No roots? You either hold onto to everything, or you hold on to nothing. Gotta give a girl credit- I am nothing if not tenacious. Indeed. I have held on, and I’ve convinced everyone else I’m fine with that.
I have a garage full of memories. I have boxes of dust.
I’ve carried friendships and relationships far beyond their prime, kicking and screaming, until they completely drain me. It’s a kind of denial only someone like me can understand.
I’m twenty years late in learning to identify toxic bonds, whether the bonds themselves are physical or emotional. I’ve always seen my sentimental side as beautiful. Tragically beautiful, but never tragic enough to change.
I wasn’t looking for the cheaply framed cross stitch. It was stuffed down under a stack of quilt scraps, and on top of Highlight’s magazines. Two hours later, I was still holding it.
Sitting in the middle of my room, looking at my memories strewn across the floor, it occurred to me that not all memories are healthy. I don’t mean they are simply painful. I mean they are toxic.
I’m heavily vested in hope, keeping scraps ‘just in case’, and being available ‘just in case’. It’s the same illogical sense of responsibility that kept Pa from ever being away from home overnight. Somebody might’ve needed him.
I’ve kept myself from seeing circumstances as they truly are. I’ve protected my own perception, rather than accepting loss and appropriately processing grief.
My health isn’t great. Adding the extra stress of trying to hold up the world is just no longer worth it. The world is heavy. In case y’all ain’t noticed.
I’ve been working through some rough reality, lately. I wasn’t really planning on working through it without support, but hey- while I remain fully committed to my delusions, I am finally learning the art of acceptance.
I’m still far from serene, but I can now place memories in the discard pile, without an emotional landslide. I call it progress. I’m still slow to let go, but I’m getting much better at it.
Be blessed, Y’all.