Inspired by a GOOD.is challenge some time ago to reduce my carbon footprint and general wastefulness; I decided to get rid of my cd’s. 

Remember those old things? I had hundreds! Stuffed in boxes, hidden away in my closet taking up precious shoe space that could be housing new summer platforms.

I had considered taking them to my local Out of The Closet or Goodwill for donation until I saw a random link via Twitter that Amazon has a Trade In program where they will buy back your cd’s, books and old electronics in exchange for Amazon gift card credit. 

In my head, I had this elaborate plan to import my cd’s into my Google Play account (not realizing how long hundreds of cds might take to import) and that I would use the gift cards to buy kindle edition books or music to reduce the amount of “stuff” in my life. 

I set down this path on a warm Saturday afternoon. Each cd imported into my music library was a trip down memory lane in the most unexpected way. 

Importing and hearing Master P circa 2004 was bad reminder of a brief phase in bad music I was going through. 

There was a Jack Johnson cd that may have been the soundtrack to brief college fling.

There was a Led Zeppelin box set that got me through finals with some semblance of sanity. 

There was a Door’s double cd that contained songs from a break up that to this day I cannot listen to without changing the station if its playing.

There was Linda Ronstadt’s Canciones de mi Padre which launched my love of mariachi music and according to my mom- I begged her to buy me at the tender age of 4. 

And there was Diana Krall’s version of “I’ve Grown Accustomed to His Face” via the Live in Rio cd that was supposed to be the first song of a wedding that never happened, and the launch point to life of personal freedom I never imagined possible. 

I couldn't take the emotions. They were overwhelming with some of the memories that I had literally boxed away into a dark corner.They were reminders of shameful moments, embarrassing situations, and love lived/ love lost that had major impacts on my life.

I decided to listen to TED talks instead while I was doing this and stumbled across Brene Brown’s: The Power of Vulnerability

That talk reminded me that what I was doing (while trivial to some) was important to me. Like Brene, I hate being vulnerable. I always thought it was a sign of weakness but her talk showed me that it was really a sign of bravery. By doing this- I was forcing myself to be vulnerable to the person I hide it from the most: me.

Newly inspired by the talk, I went back to experiencing these emotions, one at a time.

This went on for 6 weekends in a row. Each weekend I took a stack of cd’s to import and feelings to tackle. I allowed myself space to experience and reminisce, but most importantly- I allowed myself closure. By being vulnerable and raw, I removed burdens I didn't realize I was carrying around.

All that was left in the end was a small tray of cd’s either not eligible or too worn by years of love and an awesome amount Amazon credit which I used to buy all of Brene Brown’s books.