Letting GO: Scrapbooking

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There is a great part of me that misses scrap-booking. I was religious about getting those stories and pages done. Telling the story of our lives, our adventures, our legacy. I started casually scrap-booking the Senior year of High school, 1999/2000 school year. The previous summer I had joined my fellow concert choir mates on a trip to Manhattan, New York. I scrimped and saved, worked more hours, and asked for cash or things for my trip for Christmas and my birthday. I was 17 when I went on that trip and I will never forget the sights, sounds, and cultures I found there. I was going on my first trip without my family hundreds of miles away via plane. The best thing about the trip: Ellis Island. I got to see my great great grandfathers signature of arrival. I have always been drawn to our family history and daydreaming about those long lost lives.

I came home and decided to start a scrapbook documenting my visit. I still have those pages all these years later, messy globs of oddly shaped pieces of paper, pictures, stickers, and some pretty scary handwriting. I documented the first year of Mr. D’s life, I no longer have those pages or pictures. They are lost to me forever, however, the memories remain. I took tons of pictures for a long time after that, but after the heartbreak of losing his baby book it took me a while to get back into committing to storytelling.

I eventually came back to storytelling while living back at my parents. I felt like life’s biggest failure at the time. I was going through some very large hurdles one of them was pre-cervical cancer. I was a single mom, living in the backroom of the house I had grown up in, I was putting myself through college and working on my bachelor’s degree at the time. My parents gave me a digital camera for my birthday and I was smitten. I wanted to tell stories again and capture Mr. D so he could look back at himself when he was older. I hardly had money, but I quickly learned how to use free programs for paint shop and downloaded tons of free digital scrapbook supplies. I spent my free weekends working on those pages lovingly and began to wake up inside. I eventually moved us into an apartment of our own and I will NEVER forget that feeling of accomplishment. (It brings tears to my eyes to this day). I kept on with my digital scrap-booking and eventually bought myself a Canon DSLR and taught myself how to do digital photography.

After a couple of years I married my hubster and had a bit more money to try my hand at physical scarp-booking. I was addicted, it was great, I had so much to tell and I was giving a future gift to my children. Life however has a funny way of changing you through events and more children. I longed to continue making pages and sharing them or being featured for my work. After the birth of my third son Mr. B, I had to go to work 2 weeks later for financial reasons and struggles in our home. I also entered into a very severe post par-tum depression that turned into full blown depression. I lived in a fog for years, resurfacing during the fall every year. I was missing out on pages and I was too busy and sad to desire them.

I had shelves and shelves of supplies that I was now guilty for having because I was doing nothing with them. I was going to therapy because I was ready to end it all during my cycle every month. My hubster and I were reconciling and working on getting back together during this time. My therapist told me it is OK to let go. It is OK to close that chapter and not to be guilty for the products I had not used. Give them away and give your self permission to move on. It took two years to officially let go of 75% of what I had. I kept the basics of what I would need in the event I wanted to have paper in my hands for storytelling or other projects. I learned to let go of that guilt for the most part telling myself that It was OK to put away that part of my life. Now having 4 boys, I really don’t have time for all of those projects and I still tell stories digitally when the mood hits me.

I had taken a long hiatus from blogging mainly due to no internet service for years and I  no longer identified with my former blog and told myself it was OK to let go and push that delete button. I wanted to see how some of my favorite storytellers were and was surprised that many were moving on too. It has been a bittersweet transition learning about their new chapters and pride in how they have changed too. It confirmed that it was ok to tell new stories and explore new rooms within my subconscious house. I cut down my hobbies to practical hobbies that create peace for me and I can put down at a moments notice like gardening, knitting, or crocheting. I can make practical gifts, things for the house, and things to wear with my hands.

Letting go can be hard, the guilt can feel immeasurable, and it is OK to let go and release that guilt. Someday’s are challenging and some projects sits for quite sometime between working on them. That is OK too, I get bored, I like the feel of a new yarn or projects to keep me going between the long projects.

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