Monday, October 10, 2016


Lately I've been knee-deep in a blue sort of feeling and it's so strange. So encompassing. So heavy. So unwanted, truthfully. Thick as mud and just as hard to get out of. Damn wheels are stuck and we all know I'm rear-wheel drive.

Usually, October is my jam. Pumpkins and horror movies, sweaters and new seasonal colour palette - that riot of orange, yellow, red and brown, what's not to love? What's not to celebrate? Every other year, I've looked forward to saying goodbye to summer (good riddance, summer, with your tiresome heat that causes my meaty thighs to chafe) and hello to Autumn (Hello, warm blankets and big mugs of hot tea (well, actually, lukewarm tea. If you know me at all, you know I don't drink my tea while it is hot. It's a quirk, I suppose).

Except, this year is different. (You know how I am not equipped to handle different)

At first, I thought it was because of the baby boy's first birthday. Yes, he turned one. (Certainly I deserve some sort of praise and cake for this?) And yes, I was unusually emotional. Like the weepiest of all the weepers. I couldn't believe how often I welled up at the thought of him turning a year old. It was, to say the least, headache inducing and annoying. (You know how I am when it comes to feeling the feels.) I thought, for sure, I was being ridiculous, but word on the street is that being a mother is a very emotional business. In truth, I am not cut out for all these feelings. They are exhausting. So, I was sad. Very sad. But also hugely happy and excited about the baby boy turning one. After all, we made it a whole year together. It was both a blink of an eye and the longest period of time simultaneously. 

That was back in August. In September, I chalked it up to the change of seasons and the lack of warmth. Rainy days are great for reading a book but not so wonderful for adventuring with the wee one. We try to get out and explore for a couple hours a day. Hard to do that when the heavens are throwing a temper-tantrum of epic proportions.

Still, I thought for sure once October hit, I would be back to my joyous self. Actually, no one has ever used the word 'joyous' to describe me. So, let's not get too hyperbolic. Exaggeration is fine in moderation. Lo and behold, I did not feel excited about October. In fact, it turns out, I became even more morose. Confounding, I know. 

Now, it's ten days in, and I've yet to shake this melancholic mood. It's Thanksgiving today and I have many things to be thankful for. I try to focus on that, but you know how sadness creeps in until it has coated everything with its weepy residue and no matter where you sit or stand you get it all over you. The truth is, I don't foresee a turn around in mood any time soon because, and I know this is going to come as a shock, I am moving again (YES, AGAIN). And I started thinking, maybe this is why I wasn't enjoying October in my typical Halloween obsessed fashion. 

Even though we have a crazy landlady and an ant problem, I actually like living here. I have good memories. Like the most important recent  life-changing memory ... baby boy's arrival home. This was his first home and, for some weird reason that I'm sure other mothers can understand, I am sad to say goodbye to it. I know in my heart our next home will be just that, our home, but this one is special because we spent so much time together here. We grew so much here. I became a completely different person here. And that's the most truth I have written in a very long time. 

I learned to love another human unconditionally here. This is where my universe shifted. In this house, where I write this, I became a mom. I figured out how to be a mother. And I brought my son here. He learned to crawl here. He learned to say 'mom' here. He learned to eat food here. He learned to walk here. His first smile was here. My life was given new meaning here. 

If that won't trip you up and make you feel a bit sombre, I don't know what will. 

Also, the house we are moving into at  the end of the month is much smaller (cozier). 

Do you know what a smaller home means? Less space. 

So, I have been purging. And by purging, I mean throwing out my life. You wouldn't believe the things I've gotten rid of. There is still so much more to go through. It's daunting, really. I have donated, consigned, sold and thrown out so much of my life. So many things I was holding on to. At first, when I found myself knee deep in sentimentality, this was hard. Really hard. I felt as if I couldn't let anything go because I'd be hurting someone, or myself. That I would be letting go of who I was. The girl I used to be. 

And you know what ... sometimes you need to do just that. 

When I seriously started to get down to business, when I stopped moping and getting all boo-hoo over this junk, when I finally pulled my purge pants on and actually started giving things away, selling them, throwing them out - it got easier. With each thing I donated, it was easier to toss something else. Until, I looked around and thought, Well, shit, this is all just stuff. 

Now when I look through a box labelled 'my past', I don't see the people I used to love or memories we shared. I see things. Things that have been sitting and collecting dust. And some of these things I have moved around with me since I was seventeen years old! Do you know how many moves that is? Let me think ... Surrey, New West, Main, 14th, back to Surrey, another place in Surrey, to the Island, and to here ... that's eight damn moves! And do you think I even opened those boxes? Or went through that stuff? 

Big. Fat. Nope. 

So goodbye pirate shirt, I might fit you again but I will never wear you. Goodbye ex-boyfriend boxes full of twenty page love letters and mixed tapes. Goodbye scrap books of ticket stubs and weird advertisements. Goodbye jewellery I've had since I was sixteen, no one needs three dog chain choker necklaces. Goodbye wedding dress with the wine stain from Leppy. Goodbye random tooth I had pulled when I was eighteen. Goodbye first tattoo design which I seriously regret having now. Goodbye all this crap. 

Because these things may serve as memories, but you know what else does. My memories. In my brain. I still have them. They are all stored up there in meticulous order. And if one day I no longer have my memories, then these items will be useless anyhow! 

Okay, so maybe I know why I'm in a funk. Birthday. Moving. All this change. And I know I am terrible with change. There's been so much of it in the last couple years - the business, the baby, the job. It's basically been a complete overhaul. And now all this purging - it's hard work, you know. I suppose even the brightest beam of sunshine might be disenchanted by this act. All these items, they fill up our lives, don't they? It's almost as though this stuff defines us in some weird way. It is nice to have a few trinkets to hold onto to remind us of who we once were and how we got to this point. But we are not the same people we used to be and, you know what, it is okay to let that person go. I think letting go of who you once were is freeing because you no longer have to compare yourself to her. 

You can simply be who you are now. And maybe that's something I can look forward to. 

Then I can start working towards the girl I want to be.*

*a girl who isn't in a funk

And now a picture to sum up the chaotic beauty of my life: 


Robb Grindstaff said...

Well said. Been there. Still am sometimes, but I've been around long enough to know it doesn't last forever.

Calvin said...

I have to disagree with some of this. I have a large box filled with letters and other pieces of memorabilia from past relationships. Back when people actually wrote letters. And even though those people are not active participants in my life now, I loved them and still do. For me, when I love someone it's not for awhile, it's for as long as I have breath. I know it's silly sentimentality, but I don't want to lose that connection these things have to those that I love and therefore I continue to hold onto these pieces of my life. Not feeling my usual excitement for the Holidays coming up, my birthday and Halloween either this year. Maybe it's something in the universe that's askew or maybe it's just us.