Life is full of measurements. We measure the relationships we value against each other. We place more value where the reward is greater. We measure out minutes and hours and prioritize how we spend them. On my dating app, I visit a profile at least twice before I remove them from my search results. Actually, I spend more time clicking an “x” than saying hello. The problem with too many options is I find too many reasons to decide how each person won’t measure up and I cut them. I love a good measuring tape and have been known to take one shopping. I don’t love shopping for clothes, but I want to make sure the junk I like will fit where I plan to stick it.
I have a haphazard building style. I know what I want to do and I visualize it and for years I would just make it happen. In recent years, I’ve learned to carefully diagram what I’m after. I’ll now measure what I want to do and measure it a second time before cutting. It’s a great skill to be mastered if you ever want to get into woodworking. I will snap a chalk line and use clamps and squares where necessary.
It’s like my plans to go to school again one day. I don’t have a date in my mind when I want to go back, but I know I want to one day go back. Becoming a geologist isn’t as exciting now that the realities of volcanology are more exhausting than my energy reserves could accommodate. I wouldn’t put my dreams of a JD to pasture because that’s how I plan to fill my empty nest. In looking at my transcripts, I would need to measure the grades in those math classes, and I may decide to take them over again. Not as a perfectionist, but to make sure they don’t hold back future plans. Measure twice, cut once.
I’ve been spending my day looking at areas in my life to measure and cut. I wish it were as simple as throwing out rotting tomatoes that I forgot I had. It’s not. It’s a careful examination where I look at the beautiful memories that were made. I look at where it fit in my life, and how it made me grow. Then it’s time to cut and release something that meant so much to me, no matter how insignificant it was to the rest of the world. Tonight I held the tattered remnants long enough to sigh in sorrow and I exhaled in gratitude for what it was. I know that it still means a lot but what I had wasn’t enough as a memory to build a dream on and it’s time to let it go.
Letting go of something and accepting the change means something gets changed around my homestead. The day the ex moved out, I swapped out my bathroom sink and vanity. I worked around my project, shoving a shim where it needed balancing and ensuring there were no leaks. Plumber’s putty and tape were used and shoving parts in anger meant my blood was poured into the project as well. I caulked the countertop to the wall and it eased the transition in my life. I couldn’t control a separation I didn’t want, but I could put in a sink. Tonight I put shelves in. They were first installed in another room, but tonight I moved them to store an insane amount of shoes that I couldn’t otherwise keep organized. No injuries happened tonight. It felt good to hold my power drill and get used to the torque. My last one was cordless and had more control. The one I bought a few months ago is corded because I don’t use it often enough to keep a battery charged. Both projects were haphazard and I didn’t measure. It just feels better.
It’s a night of letting go of a dream that was fueled by fantasies that I couldn’t control and its passing will be comforted with homemade corn tortillas and champurrado because thick hot chocolate settles in my belly with love and satisfaction. In the tearless mourning of heartsongs forgotten, love looks like masa. It also reminds me of that first broken heart where a boy’s mother showed me more kindness than she showed her son. Masa.