Well...yesterday, Geoff and I went through all of our books to decide which ones we would donate or sell and which ones we wanted to keep. And we have a LOT of books:
...and even more books upstairs!! Yet to come: sorting through the ones we want to keep and who gets which books.
When we initially decided to transition into a different kind of relationship, for some odd reason I was really emotional about going through our books and separating them. I know that was just a metaphor for the separation we were facing but when I thought of the practicalities, the books often seemed the most emotional for me.
Strangely enough, while yesterday was sad, it wasn't unbearable. I like to think it's because we've done such a good job of engaging in this process in good faith. We communicate directly and clearly, we avoid hurting each other as much as possible, and we trust that the other will be fair. By the time we had to go through the books, we'd resolved a lot of what the books had represented to me before. Because we've addressed things directly, the physical objects in my life no longer have to stand in for emotions.
Most of my adult life, I've lugged almost every book I've ever owned to the next place I live. At this point, though, it feels liberating to lose the burden. Libraries and the internet serve just fine.