I wrote a blog post back in March called, I don’t need a toaster. I had become friends, once again, with someone who had wounded me deeply a couple of years prior. However, being the heart-driven thinker I am, allowed him back in my life after he had gone through a very painful breakup. Sometimes I realize that I am a few enchiladas short of a combination plate. I’m not sure what I was thinking at the time, but I let him back in.
He visited Sacramento while studying for his medical re-certification and asked to come to see me. He’s the one who criticized me in the post for not having a toaster. Which you can read here if you want the back story. But his comments to me felt more like shaming and posturing than it ever felt like a joke.
Putting it very simply, it made me feel bad. And I had been through quite enough with him. It was only recently that I found out because he read that post that he decided not to be my friend after all. Good call.
In my journey from California to Florida, I sort of got stuck in Texas for a bevy of odd reasons. I stayed with family since that is where I grew up and eagerly I searched daily for a place in Florida to complete my cross country trek. Everyplace I found, for some odd reason or another, would fall through. I ended up in Texas for 6 weeks, when I thought it would just be a few days.
But then, while I was there, one magical thing after another happened to me. Life transforming things. Evidently, God didn’t know I had this all planned out. But that’s the wonderful thing about God. He knows what we need, better than we do.
I’ve decided I’m going to remain in Texas for a bit. But my entire collection of belongings and my children were in Florida. So I trekked temporarily to the sunshine state to collect my things and my “bunnies” and take them back with me before school begins in the fall.
When I put everything I own in storage, I thought it would remain there for three months minimum. It’s now been two years. In my previous “toast” blog I talked about how I couldn’t possibly need all this stuff that was costing me $200 dollars a month just to store. If I’ve gone 2 years without it, I’m pretty certain I don’t really NEED it.
I arrived in Florida and went to my storage shed expecting bliss to be reunited with a lifetime of junk, but I was met with something else…overwhelming sorrow. It truly got the best of me, because that unit had become a shrine of my life from the past or more importantly a person from the past. I came to the painful realization, that was an entirely different person who stored that stuff way back when.
The very first thing that met my eyes was a dollhouse my parents had given me when I was just a little girl. My dad began building it from a $300 dollar kit, and in 1980’s money, so I can’t imagine how much it would have been worth today. Slowly and meticulously he glued one teeny scrap of wood at a time. But then one day and I still don’t know why he stopped. He never took the time to finish it. I tried completing it and I never could. And it really broke my heart.
For some reason, I drug this unfinished dollhouse around for over 30 years. I kept thinking I could do it on my own, but as it turned out, I realized, no, I needed a dad. I couldn’t do the dad things for myself. Yes, yes, I know, daddy issues alert. But trust me, that shit is real. It kept me in a pattern of seeking emotionally unavailable men for the majority of my life. It was only through a ton of hard work on my part before I ever overcame it.
I no longer had to feel guilt or shame or anything else over that damned dollhouse. So…being the Betty that I am, I took a hammer to it. I don’t think anything has ever been so cathartic in my life. I’m sure the people at the storage place thought I was a complete nut job. But it was good. REALLY GOOD!
Slowly I have been working my way through the storage shed deciding what will travel with me to Texas. I had planned on getting a truck and filling it up to the brim and transporting it all. Then I realized, these aren’t my things any longer. They aren’t what matters to me. And step by step, I’ve been sending these things to their rightful home. Most of the furniture went to a charity that helps women escape the vile world of sex trafficking. Can I tell you how good that felt to give them all the cream of the crop in my shed?
When one of the movers for the charity saw my guitar, which I never learned to play, he mentioned how much his son loved guitar and he hoped to be able to give him one someday. I took my guitar and I placed it in his hands. The joy on his face was overwhelming. There was so much God, just swimming about. Finally…FINALLY…I was on the giving end.
Most everything else is going in the trash. Box after box. It’s not me. And I don’t want it. I cried when my now-grown daughter threw away all her Barbie dolls. I think part of the grief was realizing your kids grow up and move on to their own lives.
The last box I went through was a ton of my awesome cooking stuff. And as I made my way to the bottom, I found, none other than, my Hello Kitty toaster. The one I was criticized for not having on my person in California. And I had this great realization…
When I wrote that blog post it pissed off this person who had been a plague in my life for so very long.
But then, around that same time, I got a message from a friend I went to school with back in Texas. At that point, we had not seen each other for approximately 28 years. He messaged me on Facebook this beautiful message of how much he loved my gypsy train of thought and how he appreciated the “toaster” blog post, he said, because so many people place stock in material things. But it’s not what our journeys are all about. I loved his words so much even then that I snapped a photo of them.
I had forgotten he wrote it until I looked back a bit on the conversations. Because now, he’s the man in my life. I found it so incredibly interesting that words, simple words ushered out the person who shouldn’t be in my life, and ushered in the one who should. How powerful is the art of words?
I feel free. From a lot of things.
Free from my past. Free from pain and hurt. Free from shame. Free from being weighted down with things. I think when I lost everything at one point in my life, I felt I had to grab on to anything I could get my hands on. I had amassed “things” out of fear of being without. But now, I really comprehend, that less is oh, so much more.
But, if there was any question…the damned toaster…oh hell yeah, of course, something that awesome is coming with. But at least now I’m choosing much better what can be in my life, and what can’t.