A Machete Path to the New

Taking out the trash - low res

A new you often begins with throwing something out. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to lay out today’s gourmet meal on the table if yesterday’s fast food is still sitting there gathering flies. And yet, I seemed to have made a career out of piling shiny new stuff on top of detritus. That is, until I took a machete to my house this past weekend and carved out spaces I never knew existed. Including space for me to inhabit an alter-ego that has been in the process of becoming for so long – like a slow cross-fade. Namely, I made space to be a rock star.

Why we hang on to things that no longer serve us is the grand question of modern psychology. For me, it was always the excuse: “I might use this one day, and if I don’t have it, what on earth will I do?” As if keeping that top from the late 90s or that yard of fabric was going to save me from bankruptcy or cancer someday! But in my mind, it often felt that severe to throw something out. “I might need this! And besides, I love this thing I created or bought and it seems to define me, so if I throw it out, who am I?”

But throw it out, I did. And slowly, my place began to feel like it was living and breathing again.

And yet, when I found myself losing it over throwing out my old, beat-up kitchen table, I knew something was up. Could all this emotion really be just about THAT table? After all, it was nothing special, being a mousy brown, and having developed wobbly legs. But this little table, so nondescript, had been purchased by me and me alone as a young girl moving into her first adult place. My parents had helped me carry it upstairs. And it had supported years not just of meals, but bill-paying and journaling – and with me being a designer – many, many hours of costume creation (of which the number of crusty dollops of glue that had become a permanent part of the table’s surface were proof). It had even caught spilled tears over a boyfriend or two… Yes, THAT table had served me well, and I didn’t want it to go – wobbly legs and all. But could it be that I REALLY needed to say goodbye to that young girl who bought the table in the first place – the girl who was now grown up and embarking on a new journey? That thought occurred to me as I brought the table out onto the sidewalk, where my neighbors and I have developed the habit of putting our un-want-ables in the hopes that they may be of use to someone else.

So, the table now deposited safely on the sidewalk, I went back upstairs to position my new table – a black faux leather beauty given to me by one of my best friends (Sienna Spalding). Now THIS is a rock star table if I ever saw one, and I knew she would look magnificent in her new spot…

*     *     *

This morning I went out to grab a coffee as usual, and I ventured near the spot where I had left my light brown table, bought so many years ago. It was gone. Just like that. And now, someone else who needs it, has it. And that is good. And still the tears come, just a little, as I write this…

Perhaps I don’t need to say goodbye to that young girl, but rather embrace her – and the wonder that she held as she ventured to live in Los Angeles for the first time. Perhaps the table represented that hope and glory of youth – a time in life before you start getting predictable. And perhaps it is she who still dares to be heard, and cried a little when the table left…

And yet, I am learning that I don’t need to keep piles of crap to keep all parts of myself – young and naive or not. In fact, the piles of crap may be the very things keeping us stuck in yesterday and blind to the glories of tomorrow.

It is fitting that I should ponder all of this on the eve of my first EP launch. And as I have made space to become a rock star woman, I can feel my younger self smiling. And perhaps someone who is now eating or paying bills on my brown table will feel me smiling at them from somewhere else in LA, wishing them their new beginning, too.

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