The hardest thing to clean out of my life and psyche are the old dreams and hopes that lie in the corners. They have been there for so long and are filled with the static of long-lost promise that they cling to me even as I try to sweep them away. In the right light, I’ve seen that same sweet dust on the hems of others clothes as well… so it seems many people would understand.
For a couple of years now, I have balanced my energy between cleaning out the unhealthy or outworn pieces of my past and planting seeds for my future. Those seeds are an easy pleasure to sow. They are thrown out onto the wind, with no expectation except the hope that some will take root and the excitement of guessing what the garden of your future will look like.
Cleaning out felt easy and thrilling at first, like when you first begin to load boxes into storage so that you can remodel your place, repaint, make it new again. It takes sweat and has its moments of remorse, but it also is a new start and fairly straightforward. Giving away unneeded material possessions was no challenge but took legwork and letting go of any activities, old beginnings or even a few people who no longer fit in my life was accomplished by trusting in my choices, being patient with myself and watching the passing of the years. So here I am now, my few boxes loaded, old house that is my life empty, what few valuables I deemed worthy of keeping safely packed. But when I step back inside I am almost surprised to see that this house isn’t ready for renovation quite yet. Those dust bunnies and dirt stains which camouflaged so easily into the chaos of my prior life, now appear larger and ever-present. I realize how much more cleaning is necessary. It will have to be a deeper cleaning; one that will require me to get out the sponges and bleach, put on my work clothes and dig in. It could get messy. Cleaning an old place has always been my least favorite part of moving homes. But all else is done and if I want the life I am moving into to be clean, healthy and open to the possibilities, then I have no choice but to put on the rubber gloves, get down on my knees and start scrubbing.
The old dreams that I had become so used to having float in the background stand out a lot lately in my mind. Old dreams of how I would be, old projections of where my life’s path would flow and, of course, the love that fell behind, set adrift by miscommunications mixed with pride. For the first time in a long time, I feel on the verge of a new stage of life and for the most part unrestricted and unencumbered. Perhaps it is that very light feeling of promise that has amplified the pain of bumping into the past as I begin to move forward. So for now, I will take a deep breath, roll up my sleeves and do what I have to. I can see my future shining not too far off. It excites me and I am eager to be ready for it…