full when empty

things.  the world, our worlds, are full of, things.  things, we think, that if we didn’t have, we couldn’t live without.  memories contained within, values that cannot be placed.

what happens when you find yourself in a moment, where, things, must be chosen and left behind.

as i reflect back now, i feel freer without those things.  but in that moment, i had no idea how i would feel now.

31 years, 2 suitcases.  the years of my life, the span of time i had been acquiring things.  the limit to what i could take on the day i left the only life i had known, behind.

there were things that i left, that in my heart, i knew, i would never see again.  and i will be honest, the pain of loss was there.  they were important to me, they did carry memories and they did have values that could not be assigned.

i packed, what i could, that i thought, fit, need above want.  some clothes, the pearls my grandmother had given to me, my camera (which, at times, fills the role of therapist) and my freedom.

there were pictures, memories, more things than i can list, that i thought, were so very important to me.  and, even in the days and months after i left, those things were missed.  there was talk of how to get my things.  could they be shipped, could someone go and get them for me.

days, weeks, months, years.

i have never seen any of those things i left behind.  there are things that i must not think about, because, to this day, bring sorrow.

i have learned that, along with not having those things, i do not have the memory of where they came from.  a life left behind.

the absence of those items created an emptiness, but not in a sad way that the word is so often associated.  it created a place, a space, that was ready to be filled with new memories.  happiness, love, laughter.

i’m thankful, that, as i look around my life, around my home, everything carries these new memories.  i have found a peace in that.

i realized that things are just things.  that they do hold meaning and they are important.  but, when faced with a choice between things and freedom, i would never change what i chose on that day.

my hands may have been empty, but my heart was full of hope.

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