Monday, August 04, 2008

One Man’s Trash…

If you have ever moved from one house to another, then you know what its like to put your life in a box. And if you lived in any one place for more than a year’s time, you know what its like to accumulate a whole lot of junk.

My life has roughly about 3 years of junk. From my Oregon Duck Nike memorabilia to my Kelvin “Sampson-ite” necktie t-shirt… you name it.. I’m sure it is stashed in my closet somewhere. So when my Big Apple came callin,’ my friends, family, and I had to do our best to sort through the madness. And madness was just the tip of the iceberg.

Not one to miss out on a good time or laugh, I did what any woman with a closet full of aged clothing and mountain of shoes would do. I put on the world’s most outdated runway fashion show. Dresses that showed more leg than a bucket of chicken. Shirts that might have fit me two cup sizes ago. And shoes that even the Spice Girls would have been ashamed to wear. How in the hell had I managed to keep all this crap???... Better yet, what sane part of me actually thought that clear platform heels were EVER a good idea except for at bikini contests???..

It’s easy to get sentimental and hold on to things you really don’t need anymore. You hold out hope for as long as humanly possible that the seasons will change and things will come back in style, but really.. they hardly ever do. And if they do, it’s always varied just enough to make your crap seem “vintage.” People are no different. You want to hold out hope for some of them, think they are going to change, so you relentlessly cling to something that just isn’t there anymore… when in reality you should just throw it out. Or even worse… you could be the garbage.

Call me sentimental. Call me a pack rat. My parents just call me a mess. But for some reason I have always had a hard time letting go. Maybe that is why I have jeans that look like they have been attacked by hordes of angry locusts, or maybe just some scissor-happy angst-ridden teens. Maybe that is why I have shoes that are a half size too small, but refuse to let them go for the fact that they are reallllllly killer shoes. And maybe that’s why I have stuck it out in relationships that were all but six feet under. I wanted so desperately to hang on to the happy times, the good times, the times when things were brand new, the times when things looked great, and I was the envy of all my friends. And the times… that it was easy to forget all the nights he made me cry and feel like I wasn’t good enough for him. Just once, I wanted to hand him my size-too-small shoes, and say walk a mile in these… and see what you’ve done. But, nevertheless, I hung on and endured the blisters. Whether I was a glutton for punishment, a slave to fashion, or a sucker for love, I simply would not part with these shoes. And there sat the shoes… in the bottom of a moving box.

Sometimes when people fall so head over heels in love, they become blind to the way others treat them. Since when did it become OK to treat your coworkers, your friends, and even random strangers with more respect than the person you supposedly love??... Why does more face time equal not having to say things like “Please” or “Thank you?” Why does a fleeting guest’s opinion matter more than your other half? Most importantly, what makes their half less important than yours?.. When people cut into pies they should cut them evenly to share. And a partnership is no different. If you’re going to share your life with someone… then, well.. You SHARE your life. The whole thing. Not just the pieces you don’t want for yourself. Not just “the crust” and the “leftovers.” It’s called selflessness, and without a little bit of it, any relationship is doomed for failure.

Sometimes people really don’t realize what they have until it’s gone. One day you will wake up and realize you love them.. only they will be waking up next to the person that already knew. But the thought of seeing that person with someone else is no reason to stay in something that is clearly not working. You simply have to learn when to hold tight and when to let go. You can’t force someone’s puzzle pieces of life fit into your own. They never will, especially if the pieces you’re contributing are still in disarray.

Me? I want someone that wants to have fun with me, laugh with me, and be easy breezy going with me. I want someone that doesn’t make me always feel like it’s my fault, and accepts blame where blame is due. I’m not saying I am always right, and that I am perfect. Because Lord only knows I am far from that. But I am a genuine person. I’m a good person. And I believe in treating others they way I want to be treated. I don’t want to spend my years on this earth, drowning in a box of crappy, unhappily ever after memories, and dreams of “what could have been.” Better yet, I don’t want to end up on the style networks episode of What Not to Wear, just because I couldn’t part with some crappy outdated footwear.

When you find the right person, there is not feeling of obligation to be around them. You won’t feel trapped. You will have a choice. But being in love, you’ll feel like you could never want to them to stay away. They can’t stand to NOT be around you as much as you can’t bear to be without them. It’s not tying one another down, it’s giving them the choice to spend time with you or not. And the answer never being “no.”

If you can honestly say there is someone you would RATHER spend time with than that person... well, then maybe that means you really aren't meant for one another. Besides, shouldn’t the person you’re with BE your best friend???

In the days when everyone is trying to find new ways to go green.. I say why not find ways to be less mean. No one deserves to be treated like a lesser person. No one deserves to feel their opinion is any less important. And no one should ever feel disposable. And if you can’t appreciate the things you have, then some one else certainly will.

As I combed through the last of the boxes, I couldn’t help but find certain items a tad sentimental. My letter jacket from my days in the marching band. My senior year prom dresses. The sweater I wore on my very first date. Stuff that seemed relatively invaluable to me. Then I realized I was hanging on to memorabilia that I really had no use for anymore. My high school prom was downright misery. There have been plenty of dates since the first one. And the letter jacket. Well, I kinda like that one... so, I guess that can stay. Throwing out the garbage of the past ten years of life can be both a little sad, and a little scary, until you realize you are really just making space for all new memories and people in your future.

But what about these shoes?..These once so perfect, once so en vogue shoes?.. Did these really belong in my life, let alone in my closet???.. The more I looked at them, I realized I had to try them on.. just one last time. Fiddling with the clasps, and all the stupid little straps, I remembered why I never wore these things. These amazing shoes, these one of a kind shoes.. were really just.. “ISH-“ shoes. And I had had enough. There would be many Manolo Blahnik’s, other Jimmy Choo’s, and plenty of Christian Louboutin’s, but there was only one me. And I was tired of sacrificing my comfort, and happiness just to please everyone else. I had no more than cast them to the side, when my friend’s ten year old daughter Tori, picked them up and put them on… as if they were a brand new pair. Then again, to her… that’s exactly what they were. A little too big, a little clunky, but they did make her smile. Maybe it is all right to let go of things we no longer see as a part of our lives, and allow others to cast us from theirs. It may hurt at first, but we’ve got to remember that out there.. there is a perfect match for each of us… our SOLE mate if you will. You just have to keep looking. And as for the things that cease to make us smile… Well, you know what they say. One man’s garbage is another man’s girlfriend.

Now, what am I gonna do with all these boxes???....

9 comments:

Pyle said...

Interesting thoughts on cleaning out the sentimental aspects of your life. I completely agree that it can clutter your life not only physically, but emotionally.

Now for all those boxes... collapse them and save for a future move?

Shane said...

Someone once said, "We are what we can't let go of." I think I read that off of a Starbucks cup.

Great post!

Charles said...

How is it even remotely possible that the right man hasnt come into your life? Im waiting for you here in CT...

Charlie

jaysea218 said...

Hey, you can sell it all on eBay and donate the money to your favorite charity or whatever. Jenn Sterger items would go at a premium especially in September when school starts. If it sounds like a good idea, I can help you with it.

Jym said...

That is some very impressive writing. Who said that message boards serve no purpose. That is where I have written the most over the years. As far as finding your other half, all I can say is seek God first then hopefully He will give you "him". GoOD Luck it that. Say a prayer for me as well... -Jym

Brad said...

Reading about your situation felt like reading my thoughts. When you give all of yourself to someone, devote yourself to making someone happy, and do not receive that in turn an empty feeling washes over you. I have been doing that for a very long time. Being a doormat is no fun, but if you let yourself be that way, or let go of so much of yourself for the other person, that is really the only result that will occur. The analogy you used is wonderful. I would let go of my 'shoes', but i have a beautiful daughter that i cannot leave. So, no matter what, i will probably end up wearing my 'shoes' well after they are out of style or fall apart. You are lucky to be able to retire your 'shoes', enjoy every second, love yourself enough to not be stepped on and everything will fall in to place. Good luck.

junkin said...

i can help you with all your junk.
www.junkinirishman.com

much love,

Junkin'

Rui said...

Hi there Jenn.
Well we got a very complex theme here.
Change!
Yes I to had my share of changes, still do, and if I’m not going to die today (we never know when it is our time) there’s still many changes waiting to happen.
Whether where changes in where I lived, changes in friends, changes in style, and the way I think, changes are always happening to me and everyone, there’s a old saying “The day things stop changing to you is the day you die” and in every way that’s true.
From time to time I have the habit of going through the boxes where I store most of the things I think I’m still going to use, and most of the times when I find myself exploring that gateway to the past I get lost in thoughts like “I cant believe I still have this”, “Damn I looked all over the places for this and know that I don’t need it here it is”, “I can’t believe I bought this. I had to been high on something to have wasted money on this”, and other stuff.
But most importantly I find myself wandering “Why? Why every time I throw stuff away, do I start to collect new ones?” the “Why?” still hunts me today.
Why do I grab on to the past?
I bet there are allot of people that think about that at least once in their lives.
I, like you also had a hard time letting go of people, of friendships and relationships I tried to keep all those that where important with me, but life soon proved me that was impossible.
And I learn that if we don’t move on with our lives not only are we destroying ourselves but also the ones we care about.
You said that even in love, you had difficult times letting go, believe me I know what you are talking about.
Proximally 2 years ago I had to make a great sacrifice, I was in love with this girl, and we had a great relationship, we talked about all kinds of themes, we practice surf and skydiving together, we where best friends and lovers, it seemed like we where meant to be together forever, because we never let our relationship become monotonous or boring we where there for the best and the worst.
Of course we had our discussions, but which couple never had one?
We where together for almost 4 years, and although I was happy with my job and with I did, she was not, her job didn’t pleased her and I could see on her eyes that she wanted more, at least she wanted to work in the area that was her real passion, photography.
But that line of work was and still isn’t very demanding, and she couldn’t find an agency near the area where we lived that would hire her, and for does 4 years she almost lost all hope on ever working as a photographer until the chance of a life time came to her, an agency that had seen her work on her myspace page contacted her and after a series of interviews she was chosen to work on that agency, but like all things good there is a price to pay, because her new job would require allot of travelling and staying away from me, she was afraid that it would ruin our relationship and she started thinking of not accepting the job because of what it could do to us.
Try to understand Jenn I loved her more than anything, if I had to give my life for hers than I would do it without giving it a second thought, and so I did the only thing I could do, I ended our relationship, I knew her very well, and if I told her that I wanted to end the relationship because I didn’t want her to sacrifice her chance of a great career because of us she would immediately decline the job and she would really get pissed of at me (believe when she is angry nobody can compete with her) and so I had to lie to her and say that I was breaking up with her because I was tired of our relationship, and that I wanted to be alone, that I couldn’t see a future for both of us.
I know I broke her heart and it was the same for me, saying that to her broke my heart in a million pieces, but I had to do it, and until this day I don’t regret it, I did what any person that really loves another would do.
Why am I telling you all of this?!
It’s so you understand that we can’t live in an illusion, to me if I thought for a moment that everything would work alright and she might have had another chance I was letting myself live in an illusion and I couldn’t do that, and it is the same for you too Jenn.
We both had to learn that this life doesn’t give anything without wanting something in return.
Relationships, friendships, clothes, shoes and other stuff they all change, nothing lasts forever, and you can look for mister perfect, soul mate, whatever you want to call it, you can even find someone that may fill the shoes of mister perfect for a time but in the end you like all other people, are going to find out that mister perfect isn’t that perfect after all.
You said that you want something where both of you can share your lives in a completely and 100% relation, with ought secrets, false judgments, accusations, a relationship where the commitment exists with the same intensity from both sides.
Well I don’t want to rain in your parade but that is not going to happen.
Ask yourself; can you trust another person so much that you wouldn’t keep any secrets from that person, that you would be 100% true to that person?
What is your answer Jenn?
And here is another question.
How do you know that the person at your side is being 100% true to you?
Can you tell? Do you have psychic powers to read ones mind?
Because if you don’t have that type of power then you will never know, will you?
I agree with most of your expectations on a relationship, you are right, in wanting what you want but don’t let those hopes an expectations trick your mind.
And also I know you have already realized that your pick on which person to have a relationship is getting shorter and shorter.
As your career and your status in life go up, your choices (the good ones) are getting smaller and smaller.
Sometimes I hear or read some celebrities saying, that they can’t find the right person, that it looks like all the right guys are already picked, and the only thing I have to say is that is one of the greatest BS I have ever heard.
It isn’t that all the good guys are already picked, is only that the good guys (maybe even the one you are searching for) have the brains to not get in relationship with celebrities.
Why? You may ask.
Because in the same way that does shoes that you loved so much, hurt you and weren’t no longer for you, the same is applied to men.
Any guy that may have the pleasure of meeting you and get to know you if he isn’t in the same status that you are now he is going to back off, I would do the same, we could be the best friends and confidents but I would never even think for a moment of having a relationship with you, because you are way out of my league.
And the same is applied to other guys, they know that you are way out of their leagues and so they back off, it isn’t because of fear but because of respect to you, they know that you live in a world that is not their own, one of them could become your best friend, and love you like no other guy ever did, you could feel attracted to that person because with him you would fell great, protected, cherish and above all loved, but that relation could not be.
Like does shoes you loved so much we would only get in your way, and when you love someone you don’t get in their way, you either can walk side by side with the person you love or you have to let it go.
So as you can see Jenn, change is a marvelous and dangerous thing, it brings happiness and sadness into our worlds.
I just want to finish this (and you saying “Damn it’s about time”J) by saying this to you, what’s in the past let it stay in past, live for the present and don’t worry too much about the future, because you never know what it can bring you.

Veritas said...

Hi there Jenn.
Well we got a very complex theme here.
Change!
Yes I to had my share of changes, still do, and if I’m not going to die today (we never know when it is our time) there’s still many changes waiting to happen.
Whether where changes in where I lived, changes in friends, changes in style, and the way I think, changes are always happening to me and everyone, there’s a old saying “The day things stop changing to you is the day you die” and in every way that’s true.
From time to time I have the habit of going through the boxes where I store most of the things I think I’m still going to use, and most of the times when I find myself exploring that gateway to the past I get lost in thoughts like “I cant believe I still have this”, “Damn I looked all over the places for this and know that I don’t need it here it is”, “I can’t believe I bought this. I had to been high on something to have wasted money on this”, and other stuff.
But most importantly I find myself wandering “Why? Why every time I throw stuff away, do I start to collect new ones?” the “Why?” still hunts me today.
Why do I grab on to the past?
I bet there are allot of people that think about that at least once in their lives.
I, like you also had a hard time letting go of people, of friendships and relationships I tried to keep all those that where important with me, but life soon proved me that was impossible.
And I learn that if we don’t move on with our lives not only are we destroying ourselves but also the ones we care about.
You said that even in love, you had difficult times letting go, believe me I know what you are talking about.
Proximally 2 years ago I had to make a great sacrifice, I was in love with this girl, and we had a great relationship, we talked about all kinds of themes, we practice surf and skydiving together, we where best friends and lovers, it seemed like we where meant to be together forever, because we never let our relationship become monotonous or boring we where there for the best and the worst.
Of course we had our discussions, but which couple never had one?
We where together for almost 4 years, and although I was happy with my job and with I did, she was not, her job didn’t pleased her and I could see on her eyes that she wanted more, at least she wanted to work in the area that was her real passion, photography.
But that line of work was and still isn’t very demanding, and she couldn’t find an agency near the area where we lived that would hire her, and for does 4 years she almost lost all hope on ever working as a photographer until the chance of a life time came to her, an agency that had seen her work on her myspace page contacted her and after a series of interviews she was chosen to work on that agency, but like all things good there is a price to pay, because her new job would require allot of travelling and staying away from me, she was afraid that it would ruin our relationship and she started thinking of not accepting the job because of what it could do to us.
Try to understand Jenn I loved her more than anything, if I had to give my life for hers than I would do it without giving it a second thought, and so I did the only thing I could do, I ended our relationship, I knew her very well, and if I told her that I wanted to end the relationship because I didn’t want her to sacrifice her chance of a great career because of us she would immediately decline the job and she would really get pissed of at me (believe when she is angry nobody can compete with her) and so I had to lie to her and say that I was breaking up with her because I was tired of our relationship, and that I wanted to be alone, that I couldn’t see a future for both of us.
I know I broke her heart and it was the same for me, saying that to her broke my heart in a million pieces, but I had to do it, and until this day I don’t regret it, I did what any person that really loves another would do.
Why am I telling you all of this?!
It’s so you understand that we can’t live in an illusion, to me if I thought for a moment that everything would work alright and she might have had another chance I was letting myself live in an illusion and I couldn’t do that, and it is the same for you too Jenn.
We both had to learn that this life doesn’t give anything without wanting something in return.
Relationships, friendships, clothes, shoes and other stuff they all change, nothing lasts forever, and you can look for mister perfect, soul mate, whatever you want to call it, you can even find someone that may fill the shoes of mister perfect for a time but in the end you like all other people, are going to find out that mister perfect isn’t that perfect after all.
You said that you want something where both of you can share your lives in a completely and 100% relation, with ought secrets, false judgments, accusations, a relationship where the commitment exists with the same intensity from both sides.
Well I don’t want to rain in your parade but that is not going to happen.
Ask yourself; can you trust another person so much that you wouldn’t keep any secrets from that person, that you would be 100% true to that person?
What is your answer Jenn?
And here is another question.
How do you know that the person at your side is being 100% true to you?
Can you tell? Do you have psychic powers to read ones mind?
Because if you don’t have that type of power then you will never know, will you?
I agree with most of your expectations on a relationship, you are right, in wanting what you want but don’t let those hopes an expectations trick your mind.
And also I know you have already realized that your pick on which person to have a relationship is getting shorter and shorter.
As your career and your status in life go up, your choices (the good ones) are getting smaller and smaller.
Sometimes I hear or read some celebrities saying, that they can’t find the right person, that it looks like all the right guys are already picked, and the only thing I have to say is that is one of the greatest BS I have ever heard.
It isn’t that all the good guys are already picked, is only that the good guys (maybe even the one you are searching for) have the brains to not get in relationship with celebrities.
Why? You may ask.
Because in the same way that does shoes that you loved so much, hurt you and weren’t no longer for you, the same is applied to men.
Any guy that may have the pleasure of meeting you and get to know you if he isn’t in the same status that you are now he is going to back off, I would do the same, we could be the best friends and confidents but I would never even think for a moment of having a relationship with you, because you are way out of my league.
And the same is applied to other guys, they know that you are way out of their leagues and so they back off, it isn’t because of fear but because of respect to you, they know that you live in a world that is not their own, one of them could become your best friend, and love you like no other guy ever did, you could feel attracted to that person because with him you would fell great, protected, cherish and above all loved, but that relation could not be.
Like does shoes you loved so much we would only get in your way, and when you love someone you don’t get in their way, you either can walk side by side with the person you love or you have to let it go.
So as you can see Jenn, change is a marvelous and dangerous thing, it brings happiness and sadness into our worlds.
I just want to finish this (and you saying “Damn it’s about time”J) by saying this to you, what’s in the past let it stay in past, live for the present and don’t worry too much about the future, because you never know what it can bring you.