Binge and Purge. . . .

For the last three weeks I have been obsessed with binging and purging. And yet, everytime I lose, I am relieved by how much I gain.

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Shortly after my last post, and by “shortly” I mean 3 hours later- my

grandmother finally was able to stop her waiting. I was getting ready to join friends at the movies when I got the text from my mom, “Karen- she’s gone.” I’m glad it was a text. It gives you just a moment to process without the anticipation from the messenger. I rushed to be with my mom, my uncles and my grandfather at her side. There is obviously so much more to this story, but for another day.

It wasn’t long after my last post, 3 days in fact- that I was relieved of my waiting as well. I was offered the job to teach internationally at a middle school in Singapore for the next school year.

Again the juxtaposition of these two events intertwining themselves was not lost on me. Endings meeting new beginnings. Death with new life. Certainty with so much uncertainty. But the most meaningful- the influx of family, friends and support when I have chosen to move thousands of miles away for the first time in my life. I soaked it up. I took in every hug, every word and every moment. But as with all famil

y gatherings, there were moments of stress. Of pain. of lashing. I took those in too. I think you have to. But I reflected on them as moments of humanity, and for that I grateful to have experienced them. I am also grateful for the opportunity to relinquish my “roles” in family situations. Roles that others are able to do and from which I could most certainly use a break.

Our journey to Singapore will not allow for much to go with us. Clothes, personal items, and some basic electronics will be all. We rented a storage unit, but it seems silly to pay to store things that we don’t need or want.

Enter the purge.

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It started with the under the stairs storage area. Seems easy enough- wrapping paper, some old photographs and things from my father’s mother who passed 10 years ago, and random toys. Ohhh no. I opened Pandora’s Box for sure. Hours upon hours looking through old photo albums. Then I realized I should be scanning them and saving digital copies for my siblings!

Enter the binge.

Game of Thrones, Season 3, Episode 1- Go. Four days later, the storage area had been cleaned out, and the most amazing pictures discovered! Some dated back as far as the 1800’s!

Then my clothes closet. Game of Thrones, Season 4, Episode 8- Go! The playroom, season 5, episode 6. And the last three days- my office/studio area, season 7 episode 1. I am exhausted. I cannot make another decision about what to keep, donate, sell, give to someone specific, storage unit, take with us, stare at for three more days, trip over for two then decide, accidentally break. . . .  you get the picture.

I had a momentary breakdown yesterday. Say what you will about the negatives of social media and Facebook, but damn. My people were there for me. Words of support and suggestions flooded in when I don’t know how to do this anymore. The presents given to me by people that are now gone- keep or not? Framed photos? My own artwork from childhood? The amazing advice helped me to carry on and tonight, I feel freer. The clutter is slowly going away. The boxes and bins of junk are being cleaned out. And we keep asking ourselves: Why didn’t we do this earlier? Why? Because it hurts just a little. Yes, they are just things. But, they are representations of the life we have built up to this point. The life where we thought we needed so many variations of socket wrenches for whatever job presented itself. And now we are leaving this version behind.

I cannot wait for this new adventure! Hopefully one where I don’t accumulate as much stuff! But also one where our little family of three will explore and experience the riches that the universe has to offer! After all, it has been conspiring. . . .

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