Hello, everyone! Welcome to 2022! It’s absolutely amazing to me how a year can pass by so slowly and be gone so fast all at the same time. I don’t know about all o’ y’all, but 2021 slipped away from me in a blur. It was a rough year for a lot of us, a good year, too. A bittersweet tale, but while those might be my favorite kind of story to read, I certainly am no big fan of living it!?
In this time of cleaning out the old and bringing in the new, I’m reminded of a project I recently undertook (and in some way am still undertaking). My bedroom has been my sanctuary for the majority of my life, a personal, almost sacred space where I work and exist on a raw level. And I’ve kept it more or less the same for my whole life, too, but as the years passed and I got older I had to admit that the space wasn’t fitting me as well as it once did. I’ve grown, so it was getting time for my space to grow in kind.
I’ve always dreamed of more bookshelves, a then a more spacious desk, and more recently a comfortable reading chair. But such things were always out of reach, a dream for the future. But the thing about the future is that eventually you walk into it. Today is yesterday’s future, and at long last I arrived at a time and place where I could start.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had this children’s desk. I can’t think of a time where it hasn’t been sitting in my room, moving with me and stuffed with the paraphernalia of my life. Truth be told, I rarely used it for its intended purpose as a child, but its drawers were packed with felt pencils and eraser caps, stationary sets, and a box of greeting cards and letters I would collect from birthdays, Christmas, friends, relatives, and pen pals. I could never throw those things away like most people do, and they piled up, and I kept stuffing them in boxes that had to grow ever bigger as the years past. But that was okay.
And then I started writing. It was after graduation from high school that my drive for storytelling really took off, and ever since I’ve never been able to fit my laptop and all the notebooks and clipboards that I apparently need every time I sit down to write. The desk was designed for a child, after all, and I had grown out of childhood. So I did most of my work in the livingroom or on my floor or in my bed. It worked, but it wasn’t comfortable.
So, in the past few months I set out looking for a new desk. Found many but none that suited my needs for the longest time. I didn’t know what exactly I was looking for until I found it, and within days it was sitting in my room.
Massive. Gorgeous. All the leg room I could want and enough desk space for all my writing needs.
But the storage was different, so as I went through pencil baskets and instruction manuals, spent church bulletins and random office supplies, I realized that my box of letters wasn’t going to fit.
Now, granted, I probably could’ve just shoved the whole thing into my trunk or closet and let it sit there continuing to gather dust. But I knew I had to clean that out, too. It was time. And boy was it hard! That box held birthday cards and letters dating back to elementary school, from people who were once friends but drifted away in that vicious storm of growing up and haven’t been a part of my life in many years. It still felt wrong, somehow, to toss them. Like I was tossing out my childhood, throwing those people away. But they were also an anchor dragging me down. Reminders of a person I no longer was. There’s treasuring the past, acknowledging it; and there’s holding onto it, letting it drag you back.
Cleaning out those letters was painful, as they were memories of what I once had and have since lost, but I needed to let them go. To start fresh. To make room for all the new memories and new people as they walk into my life.
I mourned for what was lost, but I look ahead to all that is to come. To value those things that brought to where I am, but not hold onto them like chains. It’s time to make some new, living memories and leave the ashes of what was take their final rest.
Here’s to 2022 and all the wild adventures it’s sure to bring?