Thursday, June 11, 2009

Parking Lots and The Heaps

Photo by Traveler76

During the month of January (and a little bit of February) I had to try and wrap my mind around leaving him. How would I do it? Where would I go? What would I take with me? What the hell was his and what was mine? Needless to say, it was horribly overwhelming and I did it all alone. We would talk about breaking-up, but the actual packing and sorting all came down to me… of course. So I would sit in our apartment, under the shadow of my giant white Christmas tree, and try to figure out how to get out with the greatest amount of my sanity.

Somehow I decided that the first thing I had to do was go through my things and decide what I still wanted. Truthfully, I wanted none of it, but I had to sort it all out. To me, it was the first step.

So I would unload drawers and closets, sit on the floor with all my belongings laid out in front of me, deciding what was coming with me and what was staying. Moving from room to room holding piles of clothes, art supplies and papers; sorting and analyzing, I created various heaps throughout the house. I would do this endlessly, not eating, barely sleeping -- reading through old papers, letters, old greeting cards, photos. In the end, I was left with an assortment of many various heaps. This prompted a somewhat nightly ritual of driving to the hardware store and searching for a way to store all of it, and little by little I amassed a collection of bins.

Somewhere between either calling my mom, my best friend, or him, I’d tearfully drive to the store, sometimes pulling over to the side of the road to cry and then pull myself together (usually with the help of my best friend on the phone), then get back on the road and eventually pull into the hardware store parking lot. I’d sit, parked, and wait, clutching onto a snot soaked napkin or tissue or sleeve, looking out at the snow under the street lights, until I could compose myself into some respectable way before walking into the store. Buying these bins gave me a feeling like I was accomplishing something; I was one step closer to… something.

I ended up in that same parking lot the other day, it was a beautiful June afternoon and I had been in a great mood for no discernible reason. As I got out of the car, I was reminded of those horrible January days of tearful driving, bin buying, frantic sorting and endless packing.

I can see now, that my love for processes and analysis drifted into my break-up. I created a step-by-step process that I adhered to religiously. It kept me together and it kept me focused.

I'm so thankful that's over... I'm not walking around with wadded up tissues in my pockets anymore or dealing with any various heaps.


  1. How did you do this? I broke up with someone not long ago and we didn't date that long, but he was the first person I was really attached to and its devastated me. I used to be such a happy go lucky person, with my life in control and moving along... and now I feel lost and at a standstill.

    We still hang out occasionally and while I am secretly hoping for it to become more once again, I know he is moving on...

    How did you do it? You inspire me.

  2. I’m sorry to hear you’re having a tough time E. This saddened me to think you feel this way and I hope you find the courage to move on and realize how much you deserve.

    I have to say, I found it a little unbelievable that I actually inspired someone. I’ve been thinking about your question, “How did you do it?”, and I’d like to make it clear that this isn’t something I did; it’s something I continue to do. It’s not over yet. I’ll write more about this soon, but just know that this isn’t easy, I have bad days or weeks (or sometimes it’s just bad moments) but I try to analyze what happened and keep my focus on myself. It helps to focus solely on yourself and take a good look at what you got, what you gave, and what you had in the end. I’ll write more soon, take care E.



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