Last week I spent a few days moving the rest of my stuff from the rental house where we lived for a year. I decided to finally get rid of things I don't need rather than continuing to move them from house to house. (Actually the decision was made for me by the fact that I don't have enough room.) The whole experience was a pain in the ass, physically and emotionally. It was a lot of work that symbolized another false start, failed.
I've been itching to purge, however, and I'm determined to keep weeding out what I don't need or love. Clutter drives me crazy; even confined to a basement or garage, I still know it's there. Now I'm trying to identify what I want to keep and what I've held onto out of habit.
I'm hoping this exercise will inspire me to make similar changes in another cluttered place: my brain. Just as I didn't have to think twice about keeping my favorite pieces of art — and I will never apologize for schlepping my books from place to place — my top priorities are clear: Grace, family, friends, writing and striving (fighting?) to be a better person before I die. For some reason, however, I'm easily distracted from these things. In fact, I seek out distractions. Maybe I'm afraid that my best efforts won't be good enough, but without focus, I'm completely rudderless and tend to spiral into my own little self-pity party. It's pathetic.
The other day, I told a friend that I like being alone, that it was something I needed. Then I read my last couple of posts (because, you know, what better reading is there, really?) and thought to myself, "Laurel, you are full of shit." Or am I? I suspect the word "alone" means something different to different people; I also believe the experience of being alone isn't always the same for one person. I can enjoy long stretches of solitude and never consider myself alone. I take off for the coast for three days of uninterrupted writing, barely talking to another soul, and couldn't be happier. On the other hand, if I have nothing to do on a Friday night, and I feel like doing something for a change, all I can think is, "Holy crap, I'm so alone!"
Why am I sometimes so afraid of being alone? I covered it pretty thoroughly in this post , but apparently I have trouble remembering my own little epiphanies. Today I realized it's even simpler than that. What I miss is having one person I know I can talk to every day (someone over four). There is a sense of continuity when you have that person, whether it's a best friend, a parent or a lover. I've had that for my entire life and now, suddenly, I don't.