The Things She Carried

Today marks the second full day I have lived without most of my possessions.  This morning I felt for the first time, after (finally) a good night’s sleep, that I have already begun this new chapter of my life.  I had envisioned it beginning as I drove away from San Diego, and of course that will be perhaps the most dramatic early marker, but it  is good to have a transitional period, where I am still here, more or less in my old life, while in a significant way it is irrevocably over.

Some time ago, I posted here ://www.laurelcorona.com/liminality/about being invited in by my tenant when I met her by chance in the hallway. I wrote then  how surprised I was to feel nothing about seeing my space, still by and large as I left it.  Someone else was sleeping in my bed, leaving my dishes in the sink, putting their things on my coffee table, but I felt no sense of possession, longing, or even interest in any of it.  I glimpsed even then how true it is that I am simply not emotionally attached to material things, much as I may enjoy having them.  Yes, I took a lot of care choosing the furniture for my condo, the first place I ever bought on my own, but once I felt the need to be free of it, it was just more stuff.  In fact, if anyone asked what I most want  to carry with me now, near the top of the list would be my blender.  Go figure!

So, what is this liminal feeling like?  Mostly exhilarating.  I walk through my empty condo without nostalgia, appreciating the echoes that mark my complete removal from the space.  Life here was good, and now it’s over.  All I think of now is how terrible the bedroom carpet looks and how badly the walls need a paint job.


Sometimes I wonder if there is something a little bit off about me, that I tend to grieve so little. No, that’s not exactly right.  It’s not so much that I couldn’t feel more, but simply that I don’t let feelings of loss grab hold of my life. Maybe it would be healthier if I did, but I don’t.  Easy come, easy go.  Sometimes hard come, hard go, but the net result is the same. Move on. Yesterday is over and tomorrow will be good.   Adjust to the new until you can genuinely embrace it, stay there a while, then move on to the next new.

I think some of this is the result of moving a lot when i was young, but more centrally, I think it comes from the cruel reality of having had to reconstruct my life after my son took his life.  Once you have lost a child to early death, nothing will ever phase you again.  May you never, dear reader,  have a chance to test this theory. If you already have, I am sure you agree.

This cold core protects me from pain and helps me see many losses as opportunities.  It makes it easier to go through life with a smile on my face, or at the least a sense that a nasty day is likely to give way to a better one.  Is that good? Maybe there is something I would gain by saying, “Okay, Laurel, what are you really feeling?” Or am I better off leaving well enough alone?   Something to explore more as I get reacquainted with myself, largely unencumbered (see photo of most of what goes in the car) on this new part of my life’s  journey.