Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Things You Find

I moved almost four months ago, after living in the same apartment for SEVEN YEARS.

I know.

I had lots of reasons for staying, which is a different post entirely. But we'll save that for another time. But really, I stayed because it was home -- because I made it my home.

It was my first home that was mine. It was the first place I lived after graduating from college. The first place I lived when I had a grown up job. And got to do grown up things in - have dinner parties, host out of town guests, decorate for holidays. It wasn't always good, but the good certainly outweighed the bad. Because, really, when you think about it, life is pretty awesomely good.

I unpacked most of my boxes a long time ago, but there was still a random assortment of stuff in the garage that I just hadn't gotten to yet. To be honest, I really wasn't even sure what all was in there - things that had gotten moved in a last minute rush just to get everything out of my apartment.

And last night I was struck with an overwhelming urge to get everything out of the garage. RIGHT THEN. Probably due in part to the fact that I was studying for the fourth day straight a test, but due in part because I just felt like it had to be done NOW.

So I did it. All the random stuff -- okay, MOST of the random stuff -- got brought inside and sorted out. And then I came to a box that didn't have any type of label on it at all. And had also clearly been closed up for a very long time -- much longer than the few months ago I moved. And I thought that I should probably just toss it -- after all, if it had been so long that I didn't even know what was in it, then I surely didn't need whatever it was, right?

But life doesn't ever work that way. So I opened it.

And I was shocked. The box had been closed up a long time alright...since before I moved into my apartment, to be exact. See, I dated the same person for the vast majority of college. Made life plans, blah blah blah. And then, as they so often do, things changed. Or got hard. Or grew up. Or whatever.

I should take a moment to mention here that I am not a good decision maker. What do I want for dinner? What movie do I want to see? What should I wear? What do I think about any specific topic? These are questions that I could hem and haw on FOREVER.

But the big decisions? I decide and I don't look back. For better or for worse.

So I walked away.

I boxed everything up, put it away, and didn't look back. And we all know what box I found, now don't we? Of course. It held all sorts of things that I had long forgotten about. And, as it turns out, at the bottom of the box there was a card that I'm not sure I had ever even opened. A card not even from him -- but from his sister. You would expect that it wouldn't be too kind, given that after being together quite a while I walked away and didn't look back.

But it wasn't unkind at all. Of all things? It was a thank you card of sorts, reminding me that no matter where I went or what I did with my life, that I should remember the impact I had, and that it was something she would be forever grateful for.

And finding that card? Was one of the best things that has happened to me in a long time.


Jen said...

You gave me chill bumps. I can so relate to your post. I am glad that you found the letter. It probably had more impact on you now than it would have then. I also tend to do my best cleaning and organizing when I am procrastinating : ) At least you did something productive right?

Christina said...

Wow. THAT was a beautiful and inspiring story.

Hey, and speaking of a test coming up....I just organized the play room. What better time, right?! :oP

chaoticfamily said...

That's a fantastic story. Nice to find the unexpected!

natalie said...

I didn't realize there was "him" story in your past. How amazing that you found the card and it brought you such a sweet gift!

HipMomma said...

What a sweet surprise.

Cara said...

Awesome story! I am glad you looked at the card.

Arizaphale said...

You are full of mystery and I love that you let us in on it every now and then! Everything happens at a time for a reason. You must have needed to find that letter right now. Good luck with the test.