A few weeks ago, I broke my favorite coffee mug. It was a travel mug I purchased at the Starbucks at BIP in Bandung, my last night in Indonesia. (I looked for a picture and couldn’t find one online…just think cute, batik, brown and blue. )
I was crushed, no pun intended , to the point of tears. I had already been in I-miss-Indonesia-mode like crazy…and it just felt like a crushing blow.
Yes, it was just a coffee mug, but that mug was special.
But breaking it did make me start to think…about the things I hold dear, about the things that have a place in my heart and life, about the things that take priority where they shouldn’t.
And so, yesterday, I did something I’ve been putting off for three-days-shy-of-three-years.
See, in three days I will have been “home” from Indonesia for three years. (It’s strange to see that typed out. Time has truly flown.)
And when I packed my bags and boxed up what I wanted us to ship back to the States, a lot of those things included were little, at-the-time-symbolic-but-generally-just-taking-up-space, trinkets. And for three years, I’ve kept them stored in a few random bags, which were stuffed, mostly-unopened, in one of our closets.
I’ve known for awhile that this kind of clutter needed to go, but it’s hard.
So many of those little things were gifts from students and friends, little oleh-oleh (souvenirs) purchased during trips. They all hold a memory.
And it’s hard to throw away memories.
But, let’s be honest here…a person only needs so many sarongs. (Not kidding when I tell you that I came back with more than a dozen. Ahem…can I blame it on my love for going to the beach?)
So I started…smaller. I went through three bags of jewelry and other random “fun”…and I threw out 90% of it. Straight into the garbage can. I pulled out a few things to save for Maelie when she’s older and even found two or three things I’d been wanting but had no clue where they were.
And then I moved on to the sarongs, which were a bit more difficult to part with. Like I said before, there are so many memories tied to them (again, no pun intended…man, I’m on a roll today! ) and it’s hard to just toss them aside. I let myself keep three…my two favorites and, again, one for Maelie.
But I honestly felt guilty about throwing those away…and so I didn’t.
Here they are.
And here’s the deal. (If you’d like. ) If you see one you like in the picture, leave me a comment to claim it. (I’ll get your address through email.) I’ll toss it in an envelope and send it your way in the next week or two…and in that way I can get rid of some of the clutter and pass on a little Indo-love at the same time. (I will tell you that I’ve used a few of them once or twice…and I promise to wash them all before I send them out. )
But if you want a purchased-somewhere-in-Indonesia (most likely, at a beach) sarong, here’s your chance. And it would make me happy to pass them on to friends instead of just tossing them or donating them.
The longer we’ve been back in the States, the more I’ve realized that my memories from Indonesia don’t lie in the souvenirs that surround me.
Not in seashell necklaces, not in bright-flower sarongs, not even in the world’s cutest batik coffee mug.
The memories…and, more importantly, the people…are in our hearts. And that’s the way it should be.