Today I unpacked a box. Not just any old box. A box that's been really hard to unpack until now.
See. Even though I've been moving on and upwards this year, there are still lots of little milestones to be met along the way. I have moved in and unpacked here. But I think for a long while, I really only felt like I was putting down my bags and packages to catch my breath instead of unpacking the nick-nacks and blankets and cushions and settling down and into this life of mine.
It's been a gradual process I guess and I've watched as I've very slowly hung pictures on the walls and unpacked more of my kitchen and so on. Two weeks ago I finally moved my computer into my study. This afternoon I finally moved my coffee maker over into its space and moved a bunch of stuff around in my kitchen too make it much more homey. Most importantly, I finally put up a hook to hang up my wall calendar. It's November.
But it's November - high intensity month - and that's meant finally dealing with a lot of things that I've had brain freeze on. Like the car repairs. And it means getting on with things, whether I want to or not.
So today I unpacked a box. I have several of them still untouched from the move. The stuff that was hardest to pack in the first place. But the boxes are sitting in my study. In the way. And it's time to face their contents and move on. So today I unpacked a box. Just a box of craft stuff - works in progress. And I sorted through them, wondering if the started and unfinished stuff was why this box was hard to face. I sorted them into nearly finished and barely started and prioritised them in the WIPs section of the craft shelf.
And then I got to the bottom of the box. And there they were - a bunch of things, nothing important - ribbons and elastic - and I remembered. I remembered the day we packed that box. It's a bunch of stuff that was scattered at the top of my old study cupboard that I couldn't reach. And the ex stood and cleared it for me, handing it to me to put in the box and when he reached out for the first wheel of ribbon he said, "OH look, bub! It's a roll of ribbon!" And we both froze and looked at each other. It was the first time he'd called me that nickname in a very very long time and his default back into being interested in my things threw both of us. We said nothing and continued packing this box. And there it remained packed til today.
It cut like a knife through my heart that day, when he said that. I think at the time I desperately wanted to say, "Can't we just forget the breakup and start over?" Today I looked at it and remembered the moment and wondered what he was thinking at the time.
I miss being called by affectionate nicknames. J doesn't call me anything. And really my only nickname is GJ - and I guess I love it because it's used with affection. It made me sad when the ex stopped using them. It made me start to feel invisible to him, which is, I suppose, what I became.
But ... it's the end of November and that means it's been over a year now since we broke up. And it's time to unpack the boxes. To look the fear in the face and see it for what it is. Because ... there's nothing I miss about the ex and our relationship and nothing I would go back for. Yes, there were good times, but ... now, a year on, I know that we weren't compatible. We never fit and we never would have. And I'm happy now, in who I am, living the life I am and surrounded by the friends I have. I wouldn't go back for anything. And I don't need to be afraid of the past anymore. And I don't need to be sad for it either. It's brought me to here and here is a good place to be.