Reaching Beneath the Surface

The past week has been a whirlwind of activity.

Packing and goodbyes all around.

When it comes to packing, I tend to procrastinate because the moment I start I will have to deal with all the chaos that comes with it and my life is already pretty chaotic. So, I like to do it all in just a couple days. It’s stressful and overwhelming, but it only lasts for a moment.

 Good and tired...and the truck is loaded.

Good and tired...and the truck is loaded.

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The goodbyes. Those are hard. But it was a little different this time. I didn’t say goodbye to one person I didn’t feel like I wouldn’t see again. It was definitely more of a “see ya later”.

Have you ever voluntarily pulled all of your junk out of every crevice of your house and asked people to come help you pack it?

They see your old shoes, what was hiding under your couch, parts of your life that people rarely see.

It’s kinda like having a baby. Once that baby is ready to come out you aren’t ashamed, you just want that baby out. So it is with moving. Get the stuff out, I don’t care how you do it, just get it out.  

Granted, there are some things you just want to do alone, without an audience, when you’re moving. Like cleaning your bathroom.

I had spent portions of the past few days scrubbing the “washable” bath crayon off of the wall of the bathtub, so I hadn’t really gotten to anything else…and then it occurred to me that there was one undignified task that lay ahead of me...the drain.

The thing you usually do when you’re by yourself and no one is watching.

The night was winding down and I had five amazing ladies in the bathroom with me. Some were cleaning. Some were just observing my shame.

I had to do it. I reached down and started to pull the mystery from the deep. It came easily at first and I thought, this is humiliating but maybe it won’t be that bad.

Then it got stuck, like tug of war stuck, and I realized 2 things: I was going to really have to work for it and when it emerged it was going to be substantial.

I started to freak out.

I HATE cleaning the hair out of a drain and knowing that it’s my hair somehow makes it worse.

I was sweating and with every pull I felt a chill up my spine. A few times I just collapsed in my tub saying, “I can’t, I can’t” just screaming and panting.

Our friend who is subletting from us was standing just by the door as a witness, so along with “I can’t” came “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.”

I threatened to cuss.

I didn’t actually cuss. But there is a favorite curse word that the women in my family use and I felt it on the tip of my tongue. I swallowed it and moved on.

I have two kinds of friends: The ones I talk about poop with and the ones to stand guard while I poop in the woods in the middle of a long run.

One such friend was in the bathroom with me at that moment. Laughing, she handed me a paper towel. As long as I didn’t have to see it I knew I could finish the job.

I struggled for what felt like an eternity and finally the beast emerged. We quickly wrapped it up and threw it in the trashcan like it was radioactive. I did it. I pulled the wookiee from the drain.

Moving and drain cleaning are similar to life; you can’t see the mess until you start pulling it out. It’s a long and involved process and sometimes there’s an audience, but it has to be done.

The whole ordeal made me think about those lingering things that we only think about every once in a while; the underlying heart issues that sometimes make us lash out in irrational ways.

Those things, if they aren’t dealt with, will infect our lives.

Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.
— King Solomon (Proverbs 4:23)

I’ve had so many of those moments when I know something bigger is going on but instead of taking care of the issue I ignore it. Instead of guarding my heart, I leave it vulnerable.

Because if I take care of it I might be in for something bigger than I bargained for. I might have to repent. But if I wait there’s the possibility others will be affected by my negligence. So, I need to deal with the junk in my closet, the big old wad of hair in my drain.

Life is one huge lesson waiting to be learned.

Moving is no exception.

 One last family shot.

One last family shot.

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