Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Cleaning Out My Closet . . .
Upon retuning from Wichita late last night (it was about 1:45 AM by the time I got off the road for the night) I was trying to unpack my suitcase and I realized that it is once again time to clean out my closet.
I have four different sized pants in my closet. I have three different sized sportscoats. I have three sizes of dress shirts and four sizes of casual shirts (can you tell that I got a little distracted by my clothes - even well in to the early morning hours?). As I started stuffing in to a garbage bag (Goodwill will be getting some good will from me this evening) - I started thinking about the metaphoric closet of my life too.
As many of you know, I am just a few weeks away from making the move to Wichita to be there with Joy and Ava full time (for those that don't know - I am just a few weeks away from making the move to Wichita to be there with Joy and Ava full time). I am leaving behind my job, the 31 years I have lived in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic United States, the nuclear family of my childhood and the extended family and network of friends I have come to rely on over the years.
There are a lot of emotions I have about this, naturally. The first and the most powerful is - of course - elation that I am soon going to be back with MY family (Joy and Ava) and that that I am making the necessary sacrafices for us to have a better and happier life as a family. At the same time, I have some anxiety about having to resocialize myself and going in to a very different political/social culture than the one I am used to (PLEASE don't start stereotyping Wichita or Kansas - it is a wonderful place - it is just different than here - not better or worse in all ways (but better and worse in some)).
I am also struggling with the fact that I am going to be facing the very real chance that I might never again see friends of mine from high school, college, my DC/Baltimore years and even my year and a half here in the New York/Connecticut area. Not that I don't want to see them again or they don't want to see me but I have barely seen any of the people from each "previous phase" of my life as I enter in to the "next" phase . . . why would this transition be any different?
So I'm at a crossroads - I can make myself crazy and try to figure out a way to see everyone one last time (or see them again and promise (each and every one of them)) that this is not goodbye OR I can just sort of let my life and my actions in this life speak for themselves.
There are, true to my nature, complications with that logic. What about the friend that I left things on not-so-good terms with? What about the friend that is still waiting for me to return borrowed DVDs or CDs? What about the friend that owes ME DVDs or CDs? What about the friend that worried about my health and my weight for years but never saw me in this phase of my weight struggle - losing weight, feeling good, hopeful that I've "won" this time, looking healthier than I have in almost a decade, etc.? What about the friend that I never told them how much them meant to me? Or the friend that never had a chance to tell me what a jack ass I am?
So, for now, I'm going to start cleaning out my other closet too. Getting out the trash bag and heading for the Goodwill.
I won't make myself crazy in that process though. I'm not even going to try to see a fraction of the significant number of people that have meant significant things to me in my life. I might send some e-mails, I might make some calls, I might hope to see a handful of them and I might even try to plan our next trip back east around the hope of seeing people then. I might just make sure that my contact numbers and e-mail addresses for people are up to date. I might just try to make sure they have my information (this is a two way street, I suppose).
The point is that I am mainly looking for peace at this point. I am already AT peace with my (our, more over) decision to make this move. With leaving this job. With finding another one. With having my family in a better place for us.
What I still need is more peace. Peace with my weight. Peace with the struggle that I am currently waging against my weight. Peace with my family. Peace with my friends. Peace with the voices in my head that used to make me feel like I "had" to see all these people or "had" to reach out to all of these people. Peace with the fact that part of the transition in my life is understanding that everything is changing: my eating, my body, my mentalities, my emotional crutches, my hopes for "normal" and the way I am percieved by strangers and intimate relations alike based on the size and shape of my body, etc. My zip code, social circle and mentalities on who I have been and who I will be might as well change too.
I can't afford to look too deep or too long at my old life or the person I was or the great times I had or the adventures I undertook or the stupid things I said or the mistakes I made in those "previous" phases of my life. I can only offer peace and try to take peace away in return.
I will only find peace with all those things if I clean out my closet and share that good will back.
For those who know me best and are rolling their eyes right now - I might remind you that if you don't know this part of me (DISCLAIMER - Just a few short years ago (months?) I would have laughed in your face if you tried to talk to me about making peace and acceptiong things and trying to make your life simpler by doing so, etc. I have not always been the nicest of jolly fat men!) perhaps it is because you don't know the next phase of me or the latest attempt at me.
Me today is cluttered. It's not perfect - but it is improving. It's streamlining, it's decluttering, it's focusing on quality over quantity and it is looking to grow and develop and further to reflect who I really am versus what used to fit "me" or who I was or what seemed like the right thing for the moment. Just like my closet.