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The scary part about letting go is that things that used to matter so much just aren't that important anymore.

In the past, when I've gone to Monterey on vacation, part of the reason has been to go to the beach at Pajaro Dunes. When I was a kid, my grandmother rented a house there for a week, and my family and she would stay there all week and my grandfather would stay just for the weekends. When I think about it, I think she did it every year, but it was probably only three or four years. We would wake up very early, and she'd take us for walks on the beach in the fog at low tide to gather shells. One of the days we were there, my dad and my brother would take Grandma's Porsche (my dad was the only other person she would let drive it) to the Boardwalk in Santa Cruz, and my mom, my grandmother, and I would take our car and go shopping in Carmel. We would always go to the Aquarium one day. Mostly, though, we would spend time together in the rented house and on the beach.

This year, I didn't go to that beach when I went to Monterey. I was sick, and the prospect of climbing up and over the dunes was too much for me. So I thought about it, and I realized it was okay. I didn't have to go. I have the memory of going there with my grandmother. I have an absolutely beautiful picture I took of the beach one year. The actual place wasn't that important.

I had the same sense of letting go on that trip that I've had paring down my house.

Because I was thinking about this entry, when I got dressed for Rosh Hashanah services, I put on a Star of David necklace that came from my grandmother. (I think I didn't get it until after she died, but I have the impression that she meant it for me, like maybe she intended to give it to me at a later date.) It's a small pendant on a very fine chain, and every once in a while during the service, I felt the chain brushing against my skin.

I've reclaimed other things of my grandmother's too. I dug out the quilt she made that used to be on the couch in the den in her house, and it's now the throw on my couch. I went to my mom's house and took two and then two more of my grandmother's photos.

I've been working on this entry off and on for so long that I have no idea where I was going with it or if I had more to say. What strikes me on rereading and trying to finally finish and post it is how, in the process of letting go, I've found things I already have that I want to hold onto.
rsadelle: (Default)
I've had this daydream going about moving to Hawaii. I have no idea if I would like living in Hawaii, or the life in my daydream. Hawaii is my practical - because it doesn't require another language or dealings with immigration - version of moving off to some exotic locale. But I've had the daydream nonetheless. Some of you might be thinking, "Yeah? So what?" So here's what: this is not a daydream I've had before. I'm excessively practical and actually fairly conventional. I'm not one for the "giving up the daily grind and going somewhere exotic" ideal. But for the past couple of days, that's what I've been daydreaming about.

I think this is a surprising (at least to me) side effect of getting rid of a whole bunch of stuff. I feel free, light, untangled. Suddenly, giving up the daily grind and moving somewhere exotic doesn't seem quite so far off and impossible.

I love this feeling.

***

Every time I go through my bookshelves, it gets easier to let go of things. I've already taken down all the Harry Potter action figures and put them in a "I'm thinking about these" bag in my closet. I did that only a week or two ago, and I already know I don't want them anymore. Yesterday, I looked at my shelves and thought, "I could always get Harry Potter from the library." This was immediately followed by two more thoughts: "I should keep book 7 until Brad's done reading it," and, "I'm shedding my fannish self."

***

I've been crying a lot (well, okay, not that much, but since it's now been a while since I last cried, it seems like a lot) over the past few days, and I don't really know why. I'm not PMSing. There isn't much going on that merits crying. It made me think of two things.

First, at the beginning of the year, I decided I wanted to improve my posture. I read about the Alexander Technique, but never followed through with it because I didn't want to spend money on a teacher. I do remember reading something Alexander said, though, that there will be a point where everything the student does feels wrong. And, sure enough, there was a point where everything felt wrong with my posture.

Secondly, there's a point in Eat Pray Love where Elizabeth Gilbert falls apart while in the ashram in India. She hides herself away in the bathroom to cry, and she says that someone else would have told her that of course this is a point you go through in that kind of intense spiritual journey.

So maybe this is why I'm crying. I'm letting go.

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Ruth Sadelle Alderson

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