I’m really not a hoarder. I have moved too much to hang on to a lot of things – it’s just more junk to pack up and move when it’s time to pack up and move. For those of you “regulars” to my blog, you know that our family has packed up and moved a bunch: we went from Tampa to Texas to Costa Rica to Spain back to Tampa from 1999-2007. Lots and lots of boxes those years. Lots of garage sales. I have gotten rid of toys, games, dishes, sheets, even an antique rocking chair (still kicking myself over that one) and a kitchen table my husband spent months refinishing.
But I am having a really hard time getting rid of these shoes…
I bought these shoes just a few months before we left Spain. They weren’t all that expensive. I bought them at a store called “El Campo” – kind of like a K-Mart. But they were cute, and I have worn them quite a bit over the past six years. I have worn them in the rain and they have gotten wet. They stretched out so much that my feet slip out of them when I walk. The insides, once soaked, dried and cracked, scraping the soles of my feet as they slide out. And still, I can’t get rid of them. Not because I couldn’t find another pair. I could. But these are from Spain – they lived in my cute little walk-in closet in our piso in Madrid. I don’t have any other wardrobe items from Spain. I have souvenirs, pictures, but that’s not the same.
And that’s why I’m having a hard time getting rid of them. It doesn’t feel like throwing away an old pair of shoes – I can do that. It feels like throwing Spain away. And I can’t do that. It has been six years, but that country got in my blood, the same way Texas did. It is part of me. And I am sad knowing so many years have passed since I lived there, that all I have left are my memories and some dusty souvenirs.
I get attached to places. Really attached. I sink my roots in deep, hang on tight, and when I am ripped away, I leave bits and pieces of myself behind.
I almost feel like the shoes need, not to be thrown in the trash, but to be buried. Would that be really weird? Burying shoes? OK, yes, it would. But it’s not the shoes…it’s the memories, it’s the country. I don’t want to throw Spain away. I want to remember it, my time there, the lessons God taught me there, the people He allowed me to meet there.
This is the tough part about moving a lot – knowing when to let go, what to let go, and how to hang on.