Oil pastel art journal image. Mirror images, similar but different.
Why is it so hard to say goodbye? I use the word “good bye” or a form like it daily to symbolize an act of leaving or departure. As a child, I said “goodbye” to my childhood, to broken toys or items, mementos and other items no longer needed. I have said “goodbye” to old classmates and friends, to the foolish deeds or stunts I've succumbed to. I said “goodbye” and mourned family members, friends and pets when they each passed away. I have said “goodbye” to old lovers and friends who's friendships where more detrimental than beneficial. Yet, I had a huge task that I was unable or unwilling to say “goodbye”.
I have goated a young male friend of mine that he has not said “goodbye” to his college days, but am I any different? After self evaluation, I realized that I am not different from him. I might not be holding on to those rememberable college years, but I have neatly boxed, labeled and stored away my precious items, and marked “open later”. Yes, literally, I boxed up my apartment including food, furniture, clothing, personal items, knickknacks and mementos and stored it away. I not only packed away my apartment, but essentially I packed my life away. I gave up my apartment with my freedom and received a drawer and some closet space. I though of this “downsizing” as a way to save money, help my mom with the children, but most of all to take care of my health. Instead, I gained new responsibilities, more expenses and my health declined. As my pain increased, depression set in and with this depression I lost the will to do, to react, and to heal.” I was at a complete standstill. I did the motions of the required day to day, but I completely lost myself. I lost my unique character that made me, me. I lost the joy I had to craft and create, my business suffered because crafting was now a chore instead of an outlet. I lost my happiness, I lost the will to take care of my health. I missed my doctor appointments, but eventually I just stop making them. I didn't care.
Do not get me wrong, being closer to my family was great and essentially a type of gift. I was able to grow closer to the kids, bake to bond with them and actually able to see them grow. I could help with homework, cook, do the driving or anything else needed. Last year, I took part of 7th and 8th grade production of Beauty and the Beast, in which I was in charge of the costumes, props and set. It was definitely a wonderful experience that I could not have take part of if I was at my old location. Last summer I was able to take the then 13 y/o to camp and the then 5 y/o to his activities. In the evenings we would swim together and enjoy a meal cooked on the grill. The summer was quite fun, and I had a lot of new memories to be greatful for, but I couldn't say goodbye to what I “lost” and between pain and depression it became harder for me to remember the “good thoughts”.
My solution to my current situation was to be proactive and to stop allowing myself to fall deeper into depression. First, I needed to say goodbye to my old apartment and life. I had to accept that it was over, including the what ifs and the lost time. These were decaying thoughts festering upon me and darkening my mood. These continued thoughts focusing on what was lost did not allow me to grow, but instead kept me in a depressed state. In order to move forward in life, I needed to mourn what I perceived as lost and the unpleasantries that I incurred during the two years and move on. Second step, I needed to remove or cut out the decayed matter. For me, this was mostly living in cramped quarters in which the landlord refused to upkeep. This included black mold in the basement, a broken foundation from Huricane Sandy in which cold air and rain filled the room and so much more. Solution to this, relocation. This change in location improved the livelihood of my now 14y/o and myself. We were finally given an opportunity to breathe, grow and relax. We know longer required to share a room, drawers and closet space. The 14 y/o now has the opportunity to attend an ideal high school and for myself, my very own crafting studio. Yes, you heard right, my very own and very “real” crafting studio, in which I can craft, create and inspire at any hour of the day or night. My final step, I needed to empty my storage. This was an extremely difficult task, but with each day that I returned, my task became easier. I kept all items that I absolutely needed and donated or threw out the rest.
I am so greatful that I was finally able to say “goodby” and move forward. Fearing what I perceived as lost, kept me holding on to something that wasn't there or would ever happen. It was lost and I had to say “goodbye” to it. I had to learn from my mistakes and move forward. By not saying “goodbye”, I remained at a standstill with my life, unable to move forward and unable to live. I needed this closure. It took some time to conquer and complete, but the end result is now a new beginning.