Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Knowing when to let go

Ok this has nothing to do with my previous post about marriage *wink*.

Can you name 3 things you had to let go of in the past that was most difficult for you? (Let's stick with material things ok, it's a given that people are always hard to let go).

Here's mine:

1. Old letters
- I was introduced to the concept of long term correspondence at an early age. My yaya since I was a baby decided she didn't want to move to the province with us and left us when I was 6 years old. I cried and screamed when I learned about it and cried, screamed and clawed at everyone who tried to restrain me the day she left (nothing really changed over the years huh?). I made her promise to write me and well... she did :) And then my childhood friend and her family migrated to the US when I was about 7 years old and we promised to write to each other. I have been exchanging handwritten letters with both of them until I was in high school.

And then we moved back to the city when I was in college after my parents separated and I had limited space. I needed to let go of some stuff and well... back then, my backpack containing the old letters were my mom's prime candidate for disposal. I didn't want to, but I can see my mom's point about space. I wanted to sort through them, to keep at least some, but there were too many and I was struggling with school. So I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and put the entire lot in the trash.

Did I regret it? Of course I did. I still do whenever I think about it. With the rising popularity of emails, almost no one bothers to write real letters anymore. And it would have been interesting to go back and see what I was thinking back when I was 6 or 7 years old.

2. Gifts from friends - especially those I received since I started going to school. I'm not sure how it is with boys, but between girls and their girlfriends, a lot of small items are exchanged through the years between kindergarten and high school: stuffed animals, ceramic display figures, and a lot of odds and ends in candy pink or purple. Would you believe I kept most (if not all) of them? I can't get rid of something especially if I can remember when it was given to me and by whom. And then I started working and small tokens from co-workers every holiday added to my growing pile. After I got married and moved in with my husband, I decided to sort through everything and let go of most of them. I was able to reduce the pile to around half? But some I just couldn't let go of, not yet.

3. Books - ok this is what triggered this line of thought in the first place. I was sitting on the stairs this morning while putting on shoes and my eyes wandered to our very full bookshelf. And in my mind's eye flashed a picture of our very full bookshelf and the very full closet in our guest room upstairs. At this point in our lives, I think my husband and I will still be buying more books in the future. So it's either get a bigger house (bwahahaha!!) or downsize our collection. I dread the day when I have to tell my husband we have to sort through the books again. We nearly got into a fight the last time we did it. He doesn't want to get rid of anything. I don't either but I know we needed to do it.

I was an 80's kid and I discovered Francine Pascal's Sweet Valley books when I was in the 1st grade. I've been collecting them since until I reached high school. When we moved back to Manila, I parked my books in a bookshelf in the library at my grandparent's house where we lived for a couple of years. When we moved to our new house, I was assigned a space in the small bookshelf in the living room. It was not enough so again, my mom urged me to sort through my books and get rid of those I haven't read in the past 5 years. That's pretty much all my childhood fairy tale books and the Sweet Valley collection. I held out for as long as I could, enduring barrage after barrage of nagging to get rid of them. I don't know why I even cared. It was true that I haven't read them in years, nor was I planning to read them again. I guess what people say is true, that books are like friends and it's hard to let them go. But I did eventually.


Nowadays, I don't get attached to material things that much anymore. I don't think twice about replacing something that needs replacing and throwing out stuff I don't use. I guess the longer you hold on to something, the harder it is to let go. One tip I can offer when you have to throw something away, is to just close your eyes and do it. Clean break. And don't think about it much. If it's something you really haven't used or seen or thought about in 3 years or more, then it's not really necessary to keep it (unless you have a big house with lots of storage, in which case, hoard, hoard away!).


Aileen said...

-My Sweet Valley Twins and High series are still rotting away at home... probably being feasted on by termites and ants... ewan ko ba. Those and my hard bound Nancy Drew books are two things from my childhood I cannot get rid of.

-I exchanged letters with my cousin starting from fourth grade until junior high. Sa totoo lang, I do not remember what happened to us and our friendship, but I do remember burning all her letters in a pile behind our house at 2 in the morning. Yes, I know it's weird, pero wala talaga akong maalala. Okay naman kami ngayong parehas na kaming matanda.

-I have too many purses back at home at talagang nahirapan akong i-sort sila isa-isa kung ano ang dadalhin ko dito sa Bangkok at kung ano yung ididispose ko na. o_O Pero nagawa ko rin naman yun... and I guess when you go through something really rough, material stuff don't really matter that much na.

Janelle said...

Talaga namang at 2AM pa ha! haha!

Yung bags, di ako hirap mag-dispose kasi binibigay ko lang sa sister or sa mom ko... so from my perspective, feeling ko nasa bahay pa din. Then after a while, when they dispose of them... hindi ko na nalalaman so not as hard anymore.

And you're right, pag tumatanda ka na at nakakadanas ka na ng madaming issues, napakaliit na bagay ng material things para pag-aksayahan ng oras.

Aileen said...

Korek! Talagang 2AM talaga nagsunog ang lola mo. Bata pa lang talga ako eh mesa-mangkukulam na ako.