MMP: Unpacking My Bags

by Rebecca A. Watson on September 8, 2014

in Minneapolis, Monday Morning Pages, Recovery

Today I woke up late, partially I think because I couldn’t sleep until 3 a.m. and partially I think because I’m still feeling a little out of sorts from my trip. Don’t get me wrong, every single thing that happened felt serendipitous, right and inspired. But that doesn’t mean it was easy or didn’t evoke some serious emotion.


I mean c’mon! Dollar dog night gets a girl all riled up.

In the past few years, my dreams have brought up men from my past. Of course I journaled about them, because (as evidenced by the fact that I’ve been divorced twice) my relationships with men have only recently become healthy. I’ve been working on that for years, and here are some of the realizations these dreams have brought me:

In 2012:

What do you think that was about? Well [city] definitely represents poor choices in my past and Rob [name changed] was definitely one of those. It seemed like part of you in the dream is stuck there but knows there’s something better out there for you: the boyfriend, the wanting to rent a car to get out of there.

I think you should read that TSN article about how to let go of the past because it seems like that’s what’s going on here. I keep thinking about old fucks and old times and I’m not really sure why. I guess thinking about them isn’t the worst, but I really feel like I was a really foolish girl back then.

I needed to go through that to understand what was good in my life and what I really wanted. I can’t believe the choices I made in the past. Well, we’re all one right, so hopefully you helped someone evolve as well. Yep I know some of those guys helped me evolve. Deep breaths. I’m proud of myself.

And in 2013 I was dreaming about guys from high school:

All those guys were just a distraction from my problems at home. Having someone(s) to focus on made it easier to forget my own feelings, and all the attention was my addiction at the time. I know I’ve moved through that now and no I don’t regret it. It helped me to be the human I am now. Without it I’d be someone different entirely.

In the dream Sante said he thought we could do it: sell the house and get rid of everything. Wouldn’t that be something? I think it’s symbolic of him saying: We can clear away this junk. Let it go. Benefit where possible and walk away.

Yes, so true. … Choose the easy way. For so long I thought I had to wade thru life dealing with baggage but surprise surprise, meditation and trust are having me see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I guess I thought the end of the tunnel was death, but it’s actually sweet life where I can focus my energy on building a positive future instead of repairing a broken past. What a sweet prospect that is.

Reading through my morning pages from years past has always been a great exercise, but usually it takes me a little while to draw conclusions between the patterns of the past and how things are now. This time? Not so much.

Both of these entries were on the first pages I read. What normally takes an hour took 5 minutes. And that’s how all of this has happened in the past few weeks. Once I made my intentions known, well, the Universe pulled out all the stops.

the good witch

I’m a bit of an AA drop out, but one thing I took from the program is the concept of making amends. I have (as evidenced in the above writings) done some pretty foolish things and hurt people, among them men.

Over the past year and a half I’ve not been drinking I’ve been slowly apologizing to people for my part in events from my past. A few days before my trip happened, I felt called to make a few of those amends while I was in Minnesota.

I had plans to see a few people and chat. Most of these interactions weren’t something I was dreading. Yes, they might be a little uncomfortable but really, it’d be nice to catch up over coffee and hopefully we’d both walk away feeling good.

As I told my friends about this, I mentioned that there were two people I probably wouldn’t be able to meet up with, because it wouldn’t be easy, proximity-wise and safety-wise.

Well, the Universe called my bluff. The last day I was there, I ended up on the phone with one of those guys. I thought he lived in Alaska. We met later for coffee. As soon as I finished that emotional conversation, I connected to coffee-shop wifi.

I got a message from someone I thought I’d never see again (he also doesn’t live in MN anymore). He was in town visiting friends and was flying out that very night, just a little before I was. The only way I’d ever meet him was in a public place, and what could be more public and safe than an airport?

Our amends were short (I got there 20 minutes before he took off) but absolutely sweet. We’d both hurt each other. We’d both changed. And now, we were working on loving ourselves.

I’m not saying life is perfect, but as I put away my bags today after unpacking slowly, I realized how light it all felt. How light I was. I’d left tons of baggage in that airport, exactly where it belongs. They’re used to dealing with that typea thing.

And now here I am, standing at the end of some tunnel, staring at the field around me. It’s filled with my life as it is: Sante, sunshine, friends, indoor plumbing, Freiburg, walks by the river, this blog, sober penpals and countless other things. That bright future? I don’t need to build it. It has always been there.

Wondering what this Monday Morning Pages thing is all about? Read how it started. Or check out all the archives.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

primrose September 9, 2014 at 7:25 am

love to hear that you had less to unpack than you left with. that is so encouraging! Prim xx


Rebecca A. Watson September 9, 2014 at 4:12 pm

Thanks so much lady 🙂


Monica September 9, 2014 at 2:41 pm

Wow. Damn girl, I don’t know where to begin. First of all, I want you to know, I’ve known you for a long ass time, and YOU inspired ME at what you say was your worst! I don’t know if that’s an homage to you or an affront to me haha!! But I do know that we are absolutely the hardest on ourselves. Amends are a cathartic thing. They run deep. You seem profoundly changed by them, and I’m so inspired by your bravery! xoxo


Rebecca A. Watson September 9, 2014 at 4:13 pm

Hee hee you make me laugh. Yeah, we are hardest on ourselves to be sure. It’s cool to think that I inspired you at that time. I guess we’re all on this journey together for a reason 🙂 Thank you for your lovely comment. All my love!


Monica September 10, 2014 at 2:16 am

I have to tell you one last thing…I had this melody in my head after I read your post this morning getting ready for work. It was not even a conscious thing, I just kept humming it and I thought “I’ve GOT to listen to this song on the way to work or it’ll be in my fool head all day!”. When it played, I got teary thinking of you and your story and realized why my subconscious had placed it there this morning. It was “Joey” by Concrete Blonde.

Rebecca A. Watson September 12, 2014 at 1:56 pm

Wow. I’d never heard that song and YES thank you for sharing. The video is classic 🙂 And the song, I’d never heard before. And yes. Tears.


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