Confession: I am a bit of a hoarder.
Except, I like to think of myself as more a sentimental saver who struggles with parting from even the smallest items tied to a person, place, or memory. Hoarder just sounds so...disturbing. And I mean if you've ever seen an actual episode of A&E's "Hoarders", I am practically a minimalist (this logic helps me sleep at night, so we'll go with it).
What started out as just a casual lady date with Kim (I adore the happy salad photo of her you see to the left; it's like she's praying for veggies and voila! manifesting mama.) turned into a major closet(s) over-haul that left me feeling cleaner, neater, more organized and lighter. Freer, even. And free is always my most desired state of being.
Let me summarize how it all played out:
* Ran into the always lovely and luminous Jan, recruited (read: suckered) her into hanging out (read: cleaning).
* Let's just do my Christmas stuff today, I said. This step alone will help me.
* Realized I had...no joke...9 Christmas stockings (one for each of Santa's reindeer, maybe?).
* Upon horrifying stocking realization, caved to the ladies firm but loving encouragement to dig deeper into my closets.
* And dig deeper we did.
While it turned out to be quite the giggle filled process (me wearing my First Holy Communion veil the whole time and trying to "gift" things to Jan and Kim...aka pawn clothes, jewels, stationary, etc off on them...for example), it also was a bit revealing. Much of the clutter came from sentimental items that weren't actually as sentimental as I once believed them to be--things from people who no longer played a positive role in my life, or from periods of my 29 years that frankly were serving as a reminder of unhappiness more than anything else. As each cardboard box was opened, the "keep" pile being neatly placed in new, plastic storage bins and the "please-don't-keep-no-seriously-why-god-do-you-have-this" into Goodwill bags, I couldn't help but wonder why I had been holding on to so much unnecessary stuff...most of which I didn't even realize was still living at the bottom of these boxes. Am I slightly masochistic? Do I struggle with letting go? Am I hiding away discomfort to "not have to deal with it" right now? Do I harbor guilt in giving away old gifts or items I fear I'll need someday? WHAT IF THE PERSON WHO GAVE ME THIS 8 YEARS AGO ASKS TO SEE IT (in a hushed voice: even though I haven't seen them in 6)?!
The answer is probably a mix of yes's to these questions and others.
But that's not really what I want to make a point of in this post. What I really want to say is that my favorite part of this process was spending the whole afternoon with Kim and Jan. Like two little mamas, they each patiently listened, efficiently re-folding t-shirts and re-bubble wrapping ornaments, as I told the stories that came up for me (both joyful and not so joyful) as each new storage bin was filled and sealed. They teased me for having an envelope labeled "calculator batteries", but not having a calculator (I know. I don't know.). They didn't make me feel badly for wanting to keep certain things (this is my Disney princess coloring book I use to de-stress therefore hush and put it in the craft bin) and they celebrated when I released others. They grouped and labeled and laughed with me.
I felt supported. I felt encouraged. I felt loved--All things I have made a point to seek out in my relationships here in California, to feel worthy of, and to hopefully give back in exchange.
So I've got double the closet space now, thanks to these two little mamas with the big hearts. I've got double the ability to welcome in the new, double the breathing room and double the sense of freedom from clutter because of their supremely kind efforts.
I've still got 4 Christmas stockings....
...but I've got double the reasons to continue feeling grateful for the SF family I've built for myself; for the little mamas who lift my spirits and, on a random Saturday, will help me get my apartment's shit together.
love and light,