Sometimes letting go of the little things can be as hard as, if not harder than, letting go of the big things.
Take something simple, like my wallet. This wallet was not old, I bought it 3 years ago, and it was still in good shape. I still love it, I love the soft blue leather, the caress of the leather in my hand, the feel of the woven leather -- intrecciato -- it is called. But now it is too small.
Funny that, I bought the blue wallet to replace a red wallet that was too large. Perhaps I should have kept the red one in the wings, in anticipation of this day. But when I bought the blue wallet I couldn't imagine needing more than 8 card slots. In fact I already thought I was heading into dangerous territory, expanding from the small card case that I had used as a wallet for years.
But my life in Knoxville is different than my former life. And I carry more cards. I would slide them into the various open pockets, only to have them fall out and bounce around on the floor whenever I opened my wallet. This is really not so good. It was time for a change.
When my mom was here in November, I admired the convenience of her Vera Bradley wallet. I had never imagined myself using a Vera Bradley wallet. I thought they were pretty but for "other" women, not for rmyself. Mom went home and her wallet slipped out of active memory until an episode that occurred about a week ago. I was standing at the counter at some store or another, it doesn't really matter where, and as I was paying for my purchases, I turned my wallet over and a few credit cards fell on the floor. This wasn't the first time this had happened. It wasn't the first time I was frustrated with my wallet. But it was the first day that I was willing to acknowledge that it was time to stop avoiding change.
So I went shopping. I knew Vera Bradley was an option, but I made a noble effort, searching out various other options first. Cracking through ancient biases can be tough work. But I didn't find anything I liked that had at least 12 slots, where the leather was soft and buttery, that was convenient to use. Vera fit the bill. Well, except for the bit about buttery soft leather. It holds my cards, the ones I use all the time and the ones I use less often. There is a place for coins, and bills, and receipts. I can even put my cell phone in it if I want to use it as a clutch.
Yes, I would love to have a beautiful leather wallet in a color that is not black. Saint Laurent may make one, but I haven't seen it in the flesh, only in pictures. Bottega Veneta makes a new one with 20 slots! But I don't need a fancy wallet. The truth is this wallet fits my life now. Most days I run around carrying Gray Baggellini bag that will hold my knitting, or my books for class, or whatever I need to drag around with me, a bag that is not to pretentious to wear with jeans, a bag that works with plaid sneakers. That old blue wallet was simply out of place. Besides the new one coordinates very nicely with my kindle.
I'll save the blue wallet. I'm not completely ready to let it go, even though I am perfectly happy not using it on a daily basis. It is not the thing itself, strange as that may seem, but the way it reminds me that beauty itself is something worth pursuing, and that pursuit can represent a different kind of freedom, a freedom from the cares of the world that may pieces of plastic represent -- discount cards, ID cards, all the various little bits of things that make life in this world "easier". (I am not talking about credit cards here, I still only carry 2). Perhaps someday I will travel someplace where I don't want to feel tied down by bits of plastic, where a pretty wallet can just be a pretty wallet. Perhaps I just need time to say goodbye, which is strange, because I am not usually sentimental about things. I actually don't miss my former life, but maybe I do still need to hold on to a few talismans.