We All Have Shields; An Organizer Gets Personal

Are you using clutter as a shield? Day in and day out I hear how clutter affects people’s lives. I have clients who don’t date because their place isn’t presentable. I have clients who don’t have the time to exercise because they are spending so much time trying to manage their space.  Alot of people don’t entertain due to the shape of their home. A few won’t even let in repair people.

So how to get rid of these shields? Take it one day and step at a time.

So, what is my shield? Well, its my condo. You see, I bought my condo a little over a year ago. It was love at first sight. I have always loved vintage homes. I found it online. I forwarded the info to my realtor several times(he sucked). He ignored my requests and eventually we parted ways. So I started working with another realtor. The first place she showed me was “the place.” A 2 bedroom 1930’s building. Iwalked in and knew that I was home!

So now I had my dream condo. Before I even closed on it, I started picking out paint colors. It was a beautiful place but the colors were horrid. Can you say bright orange kitchen? Not!!!

All the planets seemed to align and I reconnected with the man I fell in love with at the age of 15. I had a boyfriend at the time. We became friends and starting hanging out sometimes. Me…the nice gal in the dress(not much has changed), he the big burley football player that was always kicking someones ass! Boy did we love our wine coolers!!

One day I was driving around and had this premonition that I was going to marry him. I laughed it off. Two days later he gave me a letter telling me that I was his soul mate. Pretty deep for 15 huh!  I carried that letter with me for years. It meant the world to me. Shortly thereafter, his family moved from Texas to New Jersey. He came back that summer, but I was in Connecicut with my family. So many times our paths literally crossed and we didn’t know it. 

So life went on for both of us. We lived, traveled, and loved. A mutual friend reconnected with him. I was having dinner with our buddy Steven when after a few drinks I confessed that I still thought about Dana. He apparently thought we were perfect for each other and dialed Dana’s number. He didn’t answer. My heart skipped a beat. I felt like a school girl again.

Two days later I got an email from Dana stating that he would love to catch up. He told me to text him. I was bummed. Did he not remember those words so many years ago? True love doesn’t die!

So to make a long story short we started talking again. All the feelings were still there. We decided that we wanted to be together. He told me to plan a wedding date and he would be there. I felt we should probably spend sometime together first. The next day a ticket arrived in my email. I was Jersey bound!

The next few weeks I had many thoughts. I was scared at the thought of leaving my life, business, and friends. I had no doubts about being with Dana. They say you know! I knew. I figured it would all work itself out! I was in a state of pure bliss!!

A week before our reunion, Dana dropped dead. I came home one afternoon and had a really weird feeling. I hadn’t heard from him in two days. I figured he was nervous about seeing me, so I didn’t push it.

His mother called me. She told me that he didn’t show up for work on Monday and was found on his couch. He probably laid down for a nap and never woke up. I was the last person to chat with him. She asked me about our last conversation.  I was honest and told her he was making fun of me for scrubbing the toilet( I multi-task when on the phone). It was the same toilet that I was now puking in!

Instead of shutting down, I went into maniac mode. The only thing that kept me sane was all the projects in my new home. I painted closets, doors, and trim. When I was done painting, I started working on projects in the condo building. They were pretty dam impressed that I cleaned out the basement. I had the electrical and plumbing fixed. My neighbors think I am that great worker(if they only knew my sanity was on the line).

During my crazy home improvement phase, I shied away from being my normal social diva self. I just needed to process what I had been through. I used my projects as a shield. I was happy to stay home on the weekends and ticker around.

There was one last project. We have a wall in the basement to remove. I tackled that TODAY! Just me and a hammer!

No more excuses! No more shields(unless my neighbor lets me paint his place)!! The social diva is back. I am ready to life live to its fullest again. When love comes knocking again, I will embrace it with open arms.

Watch out World, Erin is back!!!


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  • Ms. Erin,
    That was powerfully motivating! When another taps into something deep within to reveal their own truth and share it so honestly, others are touched as well! You write beautifully! I am sorry for your loss of your love Dana! I had to cringe as you admitted using your condo as your emotionl shield for your heart's protection! I know that path all too well!
    I used clutter to avoid the dates, guests and entertaining. I clung to the heart and passion of another and created my own 'shield' of clutter and weight gain to keep my heart protected and shielded. Nobody could come in. Nobody would honestly be interested! I was safe! I didn't even know I was doing it! I knew when I was alone and shielded for awhile that I had barricaded my heart into its own double layer, 'safe house!!
    Today, I choose not to allow another to live rent free in my head and heart! Today, I work to break down the emotional barriers that limit my heart. The clutter and weight are considerably less. My ability and willingness to love is increasingly more!!
    Thank you for getting personal this morning! In doing so, you cause other's to look inward long enough. I took a better look this morning!!

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