Redistributing Comfort: Breaking Free from a Cheap Replacement Life
Just a basketful of things, really: a box of handi-wipes, a cheap mug warmer, and a few odds and ends. Just enough to fill one plastic grocery bag. Another held a box of sugar cubes, a box of inexpensive British-blend tea, grocery-store mug, and unused sponges.
A life I’d crafted out of office supplies and comfort. A bag in each hand, purse slung over a proud, uplifted shoulder, and wool blanket sandwiched under one overloaded arm, I marched. Out.
Justice would be mine—carpe diem!—and all the freedom fighters and liberators who had paved my American way crowded my mind, applauding and cheering. I had won the respect and admiration of peers, friends, and family. After 12 years in the professional world, barraged by maniacal torment in the form of bosses who would not listen, co-workers who cowed and bitched but failed to unite, money that would not come, and other general unrest: I. WAS. FREE.
I’d always assumed that if I ever allowed my emotions to overtake my rationale, it would be an almighty torrent of regret, an uncontrollable torrent of drama. But no. From that moment until this one, there has been an unending calm within me, a fury inside has quieted, maybe even been frightened away. And I could think, plan, scheme, maneuver. LIVE.
It took me nearly 2 months to deal with those two plastic bags, hastily dumped in the garage the day I’d escaped. I would warily regard them from time to time, willing myself to admit that this was a risk I hadn’t planned for, an experiment that could bubble up and explode at any moment. That one day I’d have to place those unsorted bags back into my car and set the pieces up anew.
I systematically withdrew each item, studying it as if it were an old friend, tracing the lines of wear and tear on a familiar face, smoothing them into something I could fathom. Each item has found its proper home now, where it truly belongs within the folds and crevices of my real life. All except the mug, which I accidentally dropped. No matter; it was a cheap substitute for the weighty, hand-made pottery vessels that I prefer.
In fact, it seems that nearly everything in my life before April 16 was a cheap replacement for everything in my life since.
This post is dedicated to my family and friends,
who have supported and assisted me, in this life and the last.