I was about to go off to college for my final semester, and I needed a coffee table for my first-ever apartment. So, that summer I went with my grandpa to garage sales in search of the perfect one. When we were out, I saw a cool glass coffee table for sale that looked a little dated, but it had good bones. A sleek glass top and metal legs. It was just the style I wanted to bring to my new place. I got the table for a whopping $15, used some black spray paint on the ugly gold legs, and took it off to college.
Since then, I’ve moved a lot. That trusty table has come with me each time. In some ways, it was an ideal piece of furniture to move because the legs could unscrew from the glass. Each time it moved, I would hold my breath a bit whenever a mover, family member, friend, or myself, would carry the glass tops into the new apartment.
Then the real adventure would begin - putting it back together. There were a few times where it took me a very long time to put together. The table only goes together one way, and even just flipping the glass over will set you up for frustration. It was a really heavy, really complicated puzzle at times. After a few moves, I learned to make it easier. I drew diagrams. I taped labels on the legs and the tops to remind me which direction everything was supposed to face. Once I had a smartphone, I started snapping pictures as reminders.
This last move was tough. I was in a hurry to take it apart at our old place, so I just through a post-it note on the tops of the glass and figured I would be able to get it back together. In transit the note fell off, so that meant I had no idea which was the right side up. It took a long time and multiple hands to put the table back together. Once it was, I realized I wanted something different. I still like the table, but everything else around it had changed. It was time to move on. All of my other “college” and second hand furniture has been sold off or donated. I wanted something different. Something simpler.
I decided this would be the last time I would move that table, and listed it for sale. Multiple people expressed interest and in just two days it had sold. I helped the table’s new owner take it apart, labeled the pieces and warned her that the labels should stay intact until it was back together. I held my breath one final time as we carried the pieces out to her car.
Returning back to our new apartment, I looked around and felt a little bit of sadness. After all, that table outlasted a lot of things. It weathered nearly a dozen moves and was a part of daily life for 18 years. But ultimately, the twinge of sadness was replaced with excitement. Now I could find something else that would be a better fit, both in terms of style and function.
Sometimes letting go can be hard, but remembering what letting go is offering you can help ease the transition. Most times, when you let something go it opens up room for something better to take it’s place. That goes for jobs, homes, and relationships too - not just stuff! What is something you are holding onto that isn’t serving you as well any more? How would it feel to set yourself free?
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