Break ups are never easy, nor is moving house, so when writer Jessica Ciencin Henriquez experienced both, she wanted to share the emotions of “letting go” physically and emotionally.
Preparing to move out of her New York home the writer posted items for sale in a Craigslist advert called “‘Moving on is hard to do”.
The listing includes a dining set, books, a wooden rocking horse, and coffee cups from the apartment she moved into with her son when her relationship ended.
She split from Hollywood actor Josh Lucas in 2014 after two years of marriage.
“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,” she posted.
Describing a queen-size mattress for sale Jessica writes:
“No sex was had in this bed. 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. Anyway, this mattress has no stains, no damage, and the tears have dried.”
Jessica goes on to describe various household items with a heartfelt anecdote about the memories and emotions attached.
“These were the first things I bought when I moved out of the home we shared,” Jessica writes of the houseplants she hopes to sell.
“It felt like something an adult would do. But an adult would be able to keep plants alive. I couldn’t. For the first few months, they shrivelled and slumped over like lifeless reminders that I did not know how to love things,” she posted.
Another item Jessica lists for sale is a wooden rocking chair which she admits is a piece of furniture she “doesn’t really want to let go”.
“I brought it home when I was seven months pregnant. 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. 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.”
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Jessica told the BBC she has had a “fantastic” response to the advert after being “inundated with over 900 messages.”
Explaining why she felt the listing was resonating with so many people Jessica said that it was probably because “no-body goes to Craigslist to find someone’s life story.
“People are connecting with the notion that the things that we own come with a story. 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.
One of the most touching listings is for a set of four coffee cups.
“He knew how I liked my coffee; it was one thing I loved about him,” she recalls.
“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.
“Anyway, I quit drinking coffee the year I finally quit him, the year no one slept in my bed but me. I don’t miss it—him or the coffee. I won’t miss these mugs either.
“Sold as a set because even if you’re single, there will be guests…guests who don’t want to leave you alone, and so they stay up with you all night while you mourn all that you’ve lost, and plot out all that’s to come and before you know it, it’s 3 am.
“They’ll stay the night and in the morning they will want some coffee,” she writes.
Jessica is hoping to donate the money she makes from the items to Moms For Moms, a non-profit organisation helping single mothers in New York.