Project Awesome

Making my life more awesome

I have all this stuff, and I don’t know what to do with it

on August 8, 2013

Let me tell you about it:

First of all, there are the things, stored in boxes in my cellar, souvenirs of my former life.  There are the letters we sent to each other.  Both wedding rings.  Ex-Husband clearly didn’t want to keep souvenirs.  My beautiful eternity ring, a present to celebrate my thirtieth birthday, our seventh wedding anniversary and my pregnancy with Big Girl.  These things aren’t so difficult: I’ll probably keep them, even if I never look at them again.  Then there are the other things.  I have an army of Lizardmen for our Warhammer battles.  I actually own a Stegadon – how many people can say that?  And then my Dungeons and Dragons books – 2nd edition, 3rd edition, 4th edition – and a box of dice.  And my Magic cards, hundreds of them, and the decks I built with them.

Some of this geekery Ex-Husband did introduce me to, but some of it I played before I met him, and it’s how I met him.  It represents a significant investment of my time and interest.  If I get rid of it, I will never replace it because of the cost.  And those Magic decks, the 60-or-so cards selected and put together to beat an opponent in various cunning and irritating ways? I thought them up myself and I’m proud of them.  But really, all this stuff – if I sell it, give it away, throw it away, it suggests that it was only part of my life because I was with Ex-Husband, that now he is gone I no longer need it because it was never really part of me.

Secondly, there are the people.  Facebook friends I know I won’t see again but can’t bear to delete.  One of Ex-Husband’s friends from school who I can’t imagine arranging to see but who I really liked.  A couple of people whose posts I like seeing but who are, probably, really Ex-Husband’s friends, and who I am not sure I can trust.   I wonder if they are reporting back to him on all my desperate, frustrated posts about Big Girl and Small Girl’s bedtime behaviour.  And some people who I thought, after ten years together, were friends with both of us, but who have gone strangely silent since Ex-Husband left.  I’m not sure I really want to be friends with people who cannot bring themselves to ask me how I am when I am abandoned by my husband with a four-month-old and a twenty-two-month-old.  I know it’s hard when friends split up, and you don’t want to take sides, but I had hoped for some concern.  Still, I can’t bear to delete some of these people because it seems unfair to lose them because Ex-Husband has left me, and because I feel, deep down, that I should hold onto every friend I have, that I should try not to lose any more people than I already have.

And finally, thirdly, there are the photographs.  Endless photographs of my children, but also so many of Ex-Husband.  And Ex-Husband with my children.  In the old days, when reels of film were sent off for developing and a package of prints was sent in return (ask your parents, younger readers), I would have cut his head out of some of them and drawn moustaches on a few.  Those ten years together are still happy memories for me, as long as I don’t look too hard at them (I didn’t feel sad on my wedding anniversary this year but in the following days I remembered our honeymoon and felt a sense of loss).  And what about the baby pictures? I have a photo album which comprises of the first 13 days of Big Girl’s life and the first 18 days of Small Girl’s life.  When I put the rest of the photos in albums, which I hope to do before they leave home for university, do I put Ex-Husband in?  He was there, and he was part of it, and I don’t want to ignore this, but equally I don’t want to look at pictures of him.  This is a problem not covered in marriage-preparation or antenatal classes.  Someone should tell the NCT.

My sister tells me there are three different parts of my history: the part that was my life, the part that we shared, and the things I did because I was with Ex-Husband.  And maybe that’s how I have to tackle the stuff.  Warhammer can go because it makes me irrationally angry and I don’t need to go back to something which makes me throw strops to rival Big Girl’s tantrums.  Dungeons and Dragons I’ll keep because perhaps I’ll go back to it.  Magic, I can keep the decks I love and pass on the rest.  The people: I know, it’s only Facebook.  I’ll hide them, and maybe put them on restricted profiles, and perhaps one day they’ll just be gone.  And the photographs? Well, I’ve already started, because apparently my phone doesn’t have room for much more than 2000 pictures of my children, so I’m making some space. Ex-Husband stays in some pictures, but I’m enjoying being able to delete him in others, and knowing it’s an indicator that I’m moving on.


2 responses to “I have all this stuff, and I don’t know what to do with it

  1. Matt says:

    This really isn’t comparable, but I’ll compare anyway – when I’ve sold some CDs, I’ve gone and re-bought them a year or so later when I realised just how much I missed them. For pictures you’re not sure whether to remove or not, why not put them in a folder to leave for a year or so and see how you feel then? A good shot of your daughters is still a good shot of your daughters, even with M in them. And unlike CDs, you might not be able to get them back if you change your mind.

    • During my photo-deleting spree I deleted a few which were of Big Girl lying down in fairly similar poses. Then realised I had destroyed a sequence showing her rolling. Oh well… I think that about getting rid of friends too – it seems silly, because Facebook is just a website, but deleting someone off there seems like a big deal, maybe *because* it’s just a website. How much would someone need to offend you for you to not even want them on your Facebook page? So you can’t just sneakily re-add them if you change your mind…

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