Saturday, November 14, 2009

The story of the purple purse…

purse1

There is a story behind this purple purse. It’s probably a bit silly and will not make sense to some of you. It does, however, represent another step on the path in my journey.

For years, I have had trouble treating myself to things I like. I only buy practical things for myself that I need. It was (and is) easy for me to buy things on a whim for the people that I love but very difficult for me to do the same for myself. I think it comes from being “last on the list”.

What is “last on the list’? Last on the list means just what it says. Other peoples needs are met first and if there is any left over (which there rarely is), it’s your turn. I am not blaming anyone but myself for this, I willingly put myself there. I enabled and even encouraged other people to put me there too.

When I got divorced about 5 years ago, everyone kept asking me “What do you want?”. I was dumbfounded because I couldn’t answer that question. I truly didn’t know.

I had spent my life wanting what other people wanted me to want. Wanting to make sure my family had what it needed, that my child was healthy and happy and the same for my husband. This women’s libber turned out to be a 1950’s housewife.

Is that a bad thing? No, it wasn’t. But what happened in the process is that I lost myself. I put who I was and what I wanted on the shelf and turned my attention to doing for others. I loved being a wife and mother, it felt like it was what I was born to be. But when the marriage failed, I was left with having to find that shelf where I put myself and my dreams.

I still haven’t found all of me and all of my dreams. I still can’t completely answer that question although I am making progress.

So where does the purple purse come in? I really needed to get myself a new purse. I went to the mall and was looking for a plain, black, nondescript purse, the kind I usually get.

I couldn’t find one. They all had big metal decorations or were made of some weird material. I just couldn’t find the right purse. I spotted this purple one and really liked it. It wasn’t black and it wasn’t practical so I didn’t even pick it up.

I must have spent an hour trying to pick out a good old black purse. I kept walking by the purple one but not seriously considering that I could buy that one.

I finally walked over to it and decided to see if they had that style in black. They didn’t. While I was looking I picked up that purple one and it dawned on me. Why can’t I buy the purple one? Who says it has to be boring and practical. This one had tons of room, had some nice of pockets and was comfortable to wear and it was 40% off. The very best thing about it was it was purple.

Before I could talk myself out of it I marched to the check out counter with my 40% off purple purse, $10 off card in hand. I waited in line, fighting the urge to go put it back. It was my turn and the gal rang up my purchase, took the discount off and put my purchase in a bag.

As I walked out of the store I felt such a sense of freedom stepping out from the back of the line and putting myself in first place. I realized that my life doesn’t have to be filled with practical black purses but can be filled with purple, red or green purses.

When I was first thinking about this, I felt sad that I had spent so much of my life living like this. Then I realized what a gift it was to be able to take that first step towards a better life, a freer life and one filled with purple purses…

purse2

3 comments:

FOUR FEET IN THE AIR said...

WONDERFUL!!! I can SO empathize with this: the feelings, the epiphany, and the steps towards healing. I look forward to sharing the journey with you! Keep writing. And keep your eyes open for more Purple Purses!

Heartsapocolypse said...

Wow! Thank you so much for the comment. Sometimes I feel like my words go into the ether and disappear. It's nice to know someone is reading...

paul said...

They don't disappear, Lee. For me they pierce my heart. Sometimes I feel like I've lost myself, too. It's amazing how in so many ways we have gone down the exact same path.

Love you sis