Not too long ago, I dedicated a month to getting rid of 10 items per day. I was surprised to see how much emotional attachment I had to some items, and the process of getting rid of my “stuff” lead to my certainty that I am ready to leave Columbus, Ohio.
And so I am! Effective August 18th I will be a resident of Austin, Texas. As a result of the impending move, I’m paring down my possessions even further – if it doesn’t fit in my Jeep then I’m not taking it with me. And my dog Coda will take up plenty of room in the old Jeep.
The one item I was balking on getting rid of was my old heavy bag. We have been through so much together and parting with it did not feel like an option. At least not until I read an essay by my friend Joshua Millburn at TheMinimalists.com.
In his article titled Letting Go Of Sentimental Items, Josh talks about parting with his mother’s possessions after her death. It is a moving piece that ends with some practical lessons about holding on (or letting go of) sentimental items. Immediately after reading Josh’s article I went to my basement and unhooked the heavy bag from the ceiling, threw it in the back of my Jeep, and drove it straight to Goodwill.
I have gotten rid of many sentimental items over the past several weeks, but the heavy bag was the only one that stung. It was the only item that I thought about again after I let it go. But I only thought about it for a couple of days. I have no doubt that releasing it was the right thing to do. Here are my thoughts I recorded the day that I dropped it off. . .
My friend. From the sprained wrists of ill aligned punches to the strife purged from sweat stained unrestrained wailing, I have learned much from you. You have been there for me for most of my life.
Nearly 30 years now. . . And today I let you go.
I dropped you off at the back door of a thrift store like any other piece of discarded furniture or overused and under-loved article of clothing. Here we part ways.
Here we draw the line that I am moving on and leaving my previous life behind. I thank you for all you have done. I thank you for all you have been there for. . .
From the evil step-father to the personal demons to the undeserved self righteousness. . . You have been there.
Brown flecks of dried blood – my blood – dot your canvas like a signature. Like a contract. Like a solemn oath that we would always be together. Today I break that oath. Today I give you away.
You have been my reference point to remind me that I came from something good as I doubted that was possible when I lost her, and lost them, and lost all of my financial where-with-all. But you were still there. And today I let you go.
I won’t have room for you in my 400 square foot Austin apartment. No place to hang. No place to serve your duty of ever present tormentor and teacher and friend. Tucking you in a corner unused would be criminal.
Better to drop you off where I hope you’ll be put to good use.
But before you go, before I snap that D-ring off of the eye-hook I drilled into my basement rafter 8 years ago just like my father drilled into our basement rafter nearly 30 years ago. . .
Let’s dance one last time.
I strap on the gloves. I set the timer. And we have one last dance. One last round of punches and kicks and love.
We say everything that needs to be said without saying a goddamned thing.
I will miss you my friend. But it is time to say good bye.
Have you ever had an item or artifact that was so ingrained to your life that if was hard to let go? Did you eventually come to the realization that it was just “stuff” and it was time to part with it? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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