I was twenty-one (give or take) when I finally cut the apron strings; though petrified, I felt liberated and free for the first time in my life. When I ran upstairs to grab the last few remaining items out of my bedroom, I made (what appeared to be) a very simple decision. A few weeks later, it hit me (HARD), and I never quite understood why... until now.
Like many, I've struggled to find inner peace and come to terms with the past. I've been through therapy, attended workshops and read numerous self-help books in order to help me along the way, but I've always felt there was something else there for me. It wasn't until last week, during an intense conversation with my sister, that I realized what it was. It reminded me of one of those Lifetime movies... where the volume of the dramatic music gradually rises up and the expression of "realization" pummels over the actors face. There I stood; the phone in one hand, my heart in the other... and I listened like I never had before. The next morning, as I lie awake in bed, I burst into tears and told my husband everything.
I think everyone has a secret and a story to tell, but most of us are either too scared, too embarrassed or too ashamed to put it on paper. As the day began to unfold, I continued to look inside myself for answers... "I'm smart," I thought, "How could I not have seen this? How could I not have known?" I sat on the edge of the bed; eyes swollen, barely able to catch my breath, and I pulled out something I hadn't thought of in years. Full of imaginary dust and non-existent cobwebs, I cracked open the lid to my memory box and realized something very profound... for forty years, I had kept these things, these memories, tucked away inside my mind because I felt like there was something wrong with me and guess what... I was wrong! In a matter of hours, everything I had ever questioned about myself was beginning to make sense and, although the memory would continue to go into lock-down, I knew exactly who to call for the key.
This morning I opened the lid and took another peek inside. As I shifted my mind and swept the room of my imagination, I thought about that day I moved out on my own. I guess maybe it was just the idea of a new start that made me do it, but as I packed up the last bit of my life into boxes, I decided to throw away something very special. I remember how it felt... it was always cold--but kept me warm, and the feathers inside of it had flattened into a neat little pile. It was white (dingy) with blue stripes and a zipper on one side. Sometimes I used to unzip it, then zip it back up... because I could. There was an actual mouth-print just slightly off center on the right hand side, which outlined the first time I came home with braces, but the most critical piece of memorabilia were the other stains... the tear stains, that peppered the front and back like a bland piece of meat. I thought about my pillow today and I wished, more than anything, that I could have it back for just one more minute, one more tear, one more final adieu.
My daughter has a pink blanket... if you follow my tweets; you've probably heard me talk about it before. She loves her blanket. He is her friend and confidante and has been there since day one--through thick and thin. Though we limit pink blankets trips now and don't let him go with us to the park anymore, we know how important he is to her little world and we respect her need for his attendance, whenever requested, no matter how trivial it may seem. When I thought about my pillow, I thought about pink blanket and; though Buddhist by nature, I prayed to (my) God, she'll never need her blanket the way that I needed my pillow today.