“Live. Hurt. Heal. Repeat. New York City is no longer for me; I’ve done what I came here to do. I’ve grown up and I’ve outgrown it and now I’m tired of stepping over shed skin,” Jessica Ciencin Henriquez wrote in a Craigslist post for her ‘Moving Out is Hard to Do Sale’ happening in June.
Two years ago, writer and editor Henriquez divorced actor Josh Lucas and moved into an apartment with her six-year-old son. Now, she’s leaving the city, but not without one final goodbye to the possessions that are intimately linked to her relationship.
Henrququez’s dramatic, revealing descriptions of the items she’s selling are connecting with people because they show how emotional memories are projected onto our belongings, even when it’s time to move on.
“No sex was had in this bed,” she wrote in a description for her queen-sized mattress. “I bought it at the beginning of my year of celibacy.”
“I believed that maybe I could start over with another someone who was capable of loving me like I deserved to be loved,” she added. “Anyway, this mattress has no stains, no damage, and the tears have dried.”
“I brought it home when I was seven months pregnant,” she said in a description for a rocking chair. “The father and I went to the store, determined to choose the perfect furniture for our first (and only) child.”
“We walked up every aisle and sat in each option they had, laughing at how seriously we were taking this one task,” she added. “But that baby grew up, and that marriage ended. I can no longer justify dragging this beast of a rocking chair from house to house.”
“For years, I had only one coffee mug,” Henriquez wrote in an ad for a set of four coffee mugs. “A friend came over one day and laughed at the single mug in my cabinet and then forced me to order more from Amazon. ‘There will be other people in your life that drink coffee, hun.’ That’s what she said. Hun.”
“I sat my son on top of this table and let him play with matchbox cars because he said please with the sweet voice he knows will break any rules I’ve made,” she writes while describing a mid-century modern dining table.
“Also because I’m a cool mom and cool moms don’t mind someone sitting on the table and playing with cars because cool moms are too busy figuring out how to rebuild their lives to worry about little things. There’s now scratches on the table top, I imagine they’re easy to fix, but I’ll never know because I’ll never bother trying.”
According to the BBC, Henriquez was bombarded with over 900 messages after the posting went live. “People are connecting with the notion that the things that we own come with a story,” the writer told the BBC. “They’re connecting with what it means to move on and start over.
“I couldn’t imagine listing those things without capturing the importance of how they helped me to reclaim my life,” she said.