I only deep-clean when I'm angry. And I was angry. Rather than be spending time cleaning out a closet and re-organizing purses, wallets, clothes, shoes and every accessory I own by color, style and length I would have preferred to be seeking revenge. That kind of angry.
It's a damn good thing I chose the closet.
Or so I thought.
Inside that closet I didn't just come face to face with bad fashion choices and ill-fated purchases; I ended up confronting my past. Notes from a marital counseling session found in an old purse. God. My wedding ring which no longer fits. Fitting. The Hawaiian carving from our Maui trip that was supposed to bring us good luck. Right. An entire box of momentos from that trip. We were already having trouble.
I was only trying to clean out the closet.
See? THIS is why I don't clean.
Perched up on one of the shelves sat my old jewelry box which, in reality, became more of a keepsake box, having never been one to wear jewelry, even my wedding ring. I got it down, curious what memories might lie in it. Definitely handmade macaroni bracelets and necklaces from the boys, that much I could count on.
I wasn't prepared for what I saw.
The bracelet my Dad gave me at my eighth grade graduation. The purple bow I wore at Maddie's service. The visitor badges I saved from Big T's plastic surgery. The cigar my Dad and I were supposed to smoke together on his 50th birthday and never got around to it.
And then that tongue depressor my sister made me that night in the ER. Dated and everything.
I started crying. Hard. There, on the floor in my closet I cried out loud, for no one to hear, mascara burning my eyes, letting go of I don't know what.
All of it.
So much has been welling up in me the last few weeks and I've complained and joked and rationalized and refused to stop and feel any of it. My past has been haunting me more than usual and in more ways than one and in my typical keep-my-head-up-high demeanor, I've carried on with a la-la-la-I-can't-hear-you-life! attitude.
It catches up with you.
It caught up with me.
People ask why I'm doing this 30 day challenge Operation Eleanor. Some have even suggested I seem so 'fearless' they are curious what my fears could possibly be. The truth is? I'm afraid of everything. Everything. And it's exhausting. It's exhausting to be constantly afraid and it's exhausting to not live the life you want to live because you're too afraid.
It's time for me to get rid of the skeletons in my closet. Or at least face them. And it's harder than I could have ever imagined.