Tuesday, March 2, 2010

unpacking boxes, unleashing tears

it's been brought to my attention this post is uncharacteristically long. for the time-poor, skip the first five pars. i take forever to get to the point. always.

it feels almost foreign to sit and blog. it seems like ages since i've done any real sit-and-type-your-thoughts kind of writing. i guess it hasn't really been that long. i've certainly gone longer. but maybe because it wasn't an option - because my computer wasn't with me, and then it was broken - that i felt more withdrawn.

anyway, here i am. work laptop at the ready, although not at work (which is important to note, in case any colleagues stumble across camelshoes).
i noted a week or so back a couple of things i wanted to 'discuss' here. one was my recent relocation. i always find it a little difficult to be completely raw when writing about something that didn't just happen but let's give it a shot. plus, there's a decent reason why this is actually quite relevant to now - or at least tomorrow. watch this space.

so, yeh, i moved. i found a place in sydney which seemed to tick all the boxes - except for the reasonable rent box which i don't think any house/unit/flat/bungalow/shed in sydney ticks - and moved in last month.

all went well apart from the fact that it didn't. the removalist truck broke down for one. they also failed to communicate this fact and we only found out when we chased them with a 'where are you?' call. so they arrived in sydney six days after they picked up on the gold coast. but really, that was no biggie.

the next fun part was when i sat down on my bedroom floor to call the boy and all of the slats from my bed, plus the metal rods which make up the frame, fell from a vertical position on to my head with a gust of dumbarse wind. man, that hurt. but more than that, it really shook me. i gave up on moving for the night and had a sleepover.

but the real drama came a couple of days later. it was a saturday and it was earmarked as the big set-up-shop day. the day i would pretty much dedicate to unpacking my life.

i don't actually mind this job. packing up is crap but unpacking can be fun, at least for a while. deciding where things should live, turning an empty space into a cosy retreat. i was getting through the boxes pretty quickly until i came across 'that box'.

you probably know the kind. quite small. decorative. and, if you're like me, full of 'keepers'. cards, notes, letters, photos - bits and pieces that, at one time or another, were worthy of cherishing forever.

i usually go through this box with every move. it's nostalgic, heart-warming. this time...well, it was certainly nostalgic but i'd say more heart-breaking.

the box, as it was probably the last five times i've moved, was full of keepsakes from my ex. i knew what was ahead of me as soon as i opened it. yet i trawled through. i didn't read a lot of it in depth, i couldn't. and i didn't need to, i was blubbering anyway.

and, you know, i don't even know why exactly.

we broke up more than two years ago. although it was gut-wrenching, i don't regret it and i am pretty sure he doesn't either. it was the right decision. we've both moved on. we're both happy.

but i guess that doesn't mean i don't miss him. we spent more than six year together, i think it would probably be odd if i didn't. i wish he could be part of my 'new' life but i know that's just too hard.

i think though, what really got me that day, was reading some of the words we'd written to each other over the years. we were so in love and so sure. it scares me that you can be sure but wrong at the same time.

drowning in cathartic tears, i wondered what the hell i was supposed to do with it all. and i am still wondering. i don't really want to throw it out. our relationship was a huge and defining part of my life. but i don't want it to upset me again and i also don't want to be holding on to something if i have to let it go.

what do you think? no really, i want to know.

oh, i forgot to tell you why this is relevant. i am going to see him tomorrow. we live in different cities now but we still work in the same industry and our jobs will bring us together, probably not for the last time. it will be fine. an odd combination of lovely and awkward to see him. wish me luck.


rinniez said...

im not sure what you should do with the stuff. i am the kind of person who struggles to throw out old letters & cards & keepsakes so that part of me is saying you should keep them, somewhere out of sight out of mind.
but another part of me is saying just throw it all out, be done with the relationship and be ready to move forward into what is now a business/friendly relationship.
sorry cant be more helpful =)

Novelista Barista said...

put them in a box and store them somewhere that isnt around u all the time... that is what i did and it worked out the best.

Aprilke said...

I keep this kind of thing too - I just put the boxes in a storage unit during most recent move - and am now going to have to box up more 'past' and hide it away :s
hope meeting goes okay

Promotional Printing said...

Same Here. I keep those stuff too! And I think it's alright to keep it and miss him. You spent 6 years with him and that's really a long time.

bananas. said...

i am quick to say toss it but i am also the first to admit that, until recently, i held on to my ex's stuff. so my thoughts...toss it when you're ready.

Kate said...

Hi Kate,
I'm also Kate, and I live with Sally - yep, your sister Sally. I've been following your blog since Nikita introduced it to me while she was staying here.

I'm commenting this time because this post is so applicable to my situation too. My ex and I broke up 8 months ago after 6 1/2 years. Ouch. I'm good now, but I struggle with mementos sometimes - I even have a photo album of his school photos from kinder through year 12, which his mum gave me back when we thought we would eventually get married. They're going back home to mother, but I have so many other things that bring him to mind.

Anyway, point is, keep them. After so long with someone, they'll always own a little piece of real estate in your heart, and if you get rid of these little keepsakes, you will regret it. Even without them, you'll have moments when you're winded by memories - brought on by a song, a smell, a place.
Hold onto your keepsakes, and if it feels like too much to handle having them at hand, leave them at your mum's house, in storage or on a shelf you can't reach.
Hope to meet you in the flesh one day, your blog is so smart, funny and open, sometimes I feel like I kind of know you already.

kate said...

That's very lovely of you to say, Kate - and thanks for commenting. If you live with Sally, I am sure we'll meet one day. I love Melbourne and usually get there at least once a year.

I agree with you on keeping this stuff. I know me and I know I would regret thowing stuff out. In time, hopefully it won't be sad to look through and I don't really go through it as a rule anyway.

@aprilke meeting was okay. there's always an odd feeling but it was nice to see him.

thanks everyone for your comments x

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