The books have been taken off my shelves. The clothes have been removed from my closet. The photos have been taken off my walls. They are bare.
This morning I wanted to put my computer in my backpack only to realize I gave away my backpack. It isn't mine anymore.
I hosted a party yesterday and watched my friends trifle through my "giveaway boutique." I offered reviews on a variety of books. I encouraged my teacher friends to take all the random crafting supplies...because surely a teacher's craft cupboard is never full. I hovered near the bathroom-turned-dressing-room to offer opinions. I sent coloring books home with my friend's daughters.
And, I was glad.
As I have been sorting through the stuff that has accumulated over the past 3+ years, I have often wondered where it all came from and why I have held onto some of it so tightly. Sometimes saying good-bye is really difficult. Sometimes it is exciting because it means there is blessing and adventure ahead.
Several of my friends asked me if it was odd to watch them go through my stuff and try on clothes and shove books in their purses. And, it wasn't. It was fun! It was good to know that they were being blessed. I loved commentating about good books and knowing that they were going to be brought joy in reading them. I liked knowing that my clothes would be a blessing to someone else, and I realize how nice it can be to just have something different, even if it's not new, but that typically means money. I could have opted to sell my things, but I much preferred to watch the excited faces of friends enjoying things I have loved.
So, my walls are bare, but my heart is full.
I think that statement says a lot about how Cambodia has changed me in so many ways. These past few years have stripped my walls, emptied what I thought I knew, and unshelved so much stuff that was hindering me. But, my heart is full. Sometimes I am still tempted to look for my old, familiar backpack, but it isn't mine anymore...and the things I know I really need can't fit inside it anyway.
(Please note that this post should not be construed to mean that I will not have very carefully packed, very full suitcases traveling across the ocean with me...)