Carry That Weight.

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I had saved two years’ worth of sappy and romantic text messages in my phone. When it ended, I couldn’t delete them; I wouldn’t. For a while, I read through them everyday to bolster my hope that things may someday return to how they had been, but even once I stopped wanting that, I couldn’t delete them. They still meant something, still had weight. And maybe even more than that, they were a physical record that someone had loved me, that someone had wanted to marry me and grow old with me. Maybe that was what I couldn’t let go of more so than the person who expressed these things. But eventually those words came to mean nothing to me as well. I had planned to take a weekend afternoon to go through each text and really feel the weight of the words, remember the contexts they were said in, and then say to myself “It’s over now, and that’s okay” before deleting them one by one; I wanted it to be ceremonious, because it felt significant. But today, as I was standing in line for lunch at Chipotle, I opened my inbox and started deleting. There was no reason to wait; there was no reason to hold onto that heaviness for one moment longer. I didn’t need to read through each one because they were already committed to memory , for better or worse. I thought I would feel triumphant, like I had accomplished something really profound, but in the end, all I did was free up space in my inbox. And that was okay. I suppose I felt a little lighter, like brushing the weight of my hair from my shoulders, but I realized that there just wasn’t that much weight that needed to be lifted in the first place.

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9 responses to “Carry That Weight.

  1. I also keep sappy text messages.

  2. WINNING. prouda you.

  3. I couldn’t bring myself to sell my old iphone because it had a lot of memories in it as well.
    I don’t look at it though. Just have the phone, without batteries, in my desk drawers.

  4. I’ve done that before…held on, held on, held on and then suddenly didn’t need them any more. Good for you!

  5. That’s such a good feeling. It’s like, “wow, that was it?”. I had a similar experience but it was with saved emails not texts. I swear I thought I was going to hold on to those forever. I even thought I might incorporate them into some kind of graphic novel I might one day create as a grand gesture of… not even sure what. But like you said, something ceremonial. But then one day I was totally okay with getting rid of them. I thought I’d at least go through them one by one, having one last read, but instead I just deleted the whole folder in one fell swoop. I was like, this person’s gone, time to move on, time to clean up my inbox. I totally surprised myself, but I haven’t regretted it and it felt amazing. Yay!

  6. I did that with not only txt messages but also a memory box. I dated a guy for two years and he broke up with me the day before out two year ann. I help on to those things for probably almost a year. I already even had another boyfriend. And I would go through them from time to time. And then one day i just up and took every thing out of the box dumped it into my fireplace and burned it. It was a huge relief!

  7. skippingstones

    I still have the photo album from my wedding, though I have now been divorced forever. I don’t have any real reason to keep those pictures or any memorabilia from that time in my life, but still…

    It almost feels as though you’re throwing yourself away. Though it’s not true, it feels somehow that to toss those items would be to invalidate the experience, to say that none of it mattered.

    I know they are only things, and had those pictures never existed, the memories still would have. And I know that with or without these things, the experience did matter. Everything that I was has made me who I am.

    And still…every now and then I’ll run across that album and I’ll think, “Todays the day I get rid of this thing.” And then I put it back where it came from. Maybe next time.

  8. Pingback: Carry That Weight. (via ) « kristine's space

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