I just moved to a new house. Which, of course, meant finding things you hid away for reasons you’ve forgotten and along with it, the memories you’ve either cherished or tried to kill.
I found a lot of memories that made me laugh and when I thought I was almost done, I found a picture.
You know those moments when you tell yourself “Someday I’m going to find someone better and that person will make me fall so head over heels in love and give me all the happiness in the world that all these memories of the past will no longer matter” ? Here’s the fact we know but refuse to utter – “But until then..”
I spent two years getting over one person. Someone I believed was a dream come true, who by the end of our relationship made me want to pull my hair out and run screaming for the hills. But the bad memories never outshone the good ones. When I look back, I miss those days of sweet nothings. I miss those stupid conversation and useless text messages. I miss the person who brought out the best in me but loved me at my worst.
It’s been a little over two and half years since I last saw him. Two and half years since I swore I wouldn’t think of him. Two and half years since I told myself that I will not let the memories of him haunt me ever again. Yet, here I was.
When you clean out your closet, you will find things you don’t want to see or think about anymore. It will bring back memories you believed to have let go of. And when you have to throw that object away, it’ll make you realize that no matter how hard you try to convince yourself of how brave and strong you are and how you’re totally over that phase of your life, the truth is always a whole other story.
I sat and stared at that picture of him. I remembered that day. I remembered the exact moment that picture was taken. The reason for the frown on my face. The way he mocked my frown by grinning like an idiot. I don’t even know for how long I just sat there staring at it before I finally told myself, I’m going to tear this up. I’m going to put an end to this so I can never find it again. But somehow, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. My hands shivered and my eyes teared up. My heart longed to re-live that moment one last time. I simply put the picture aside and continued cleaning up the rest of my closet.
A few hours later, as I was throwing away the last bits and pieces of unwanted things, I turned back to that picture and realization hit me. My heart did this too. Instead of just letting go of memories, it simply pushed them to a corner and moved on with other things. My heart was a hoarder and now I was turning into one too.
So I braced myself and picked up that picture again. I ignored the tug inside me and swallowed my tears. I tore that picture into half and over and over again until I couldn’t anymore. I was sobbing like a baby but I knew it was the right thing to do. Goodbyes are difficult but they’re said for a reason. And this was me taking the first step towards letting go.
Ever have those moments when you’re throwing out clothes and you find that one old, dirty shirt hidden away in the back of your closet that you know you’ll never wear but don’t want to throw away ?! Certain memories are like that too. And the longer you hold on, the more space it starts to occupy. Space you can certainly use for something more useful and meaningful.
So don’t think about it. Just pick it up and throw it out. It might be the most difficult thing you’ll ever do but someday you’ll be glad you did.