This past weekend I went through my file box – it’s one of those things you get when you grow up and have to save papers. There’s the usual important stuff – bank statements (I signed up for them to be emailed to me, but they’re still mailing them), pay stubs, tax forms, etc. Some added stuff in mine include my divorce junk, old awards from high school, ACT scores, woodworking plans, college and high school papers, notes, ideas, thoughts, the beginnings of stories, bad poems, and parts of journals.
I went through the file box mainly to get rid of all the stuff I’d written over the years. I must have started and quit journaling a dozen times in the past ten years. They were kind of happy, but mostly sad because that’s when I tend to journal the most. I have a hard time writing down, “I had a good day today!”. It seems like it was much easier for me to write about the misery and hopelessness than it does the joy.
And the journal entries were mainly about three things: God, self-confidence, and girls. These are the things that I struggled with all through high school and college (each and every time I went). It was kind of sad in a way to look at what I wrote and how hopeless I was feeling at the time. Granted, I still get those feelings now, but I’m more mature (haha).
I found stuff I had written about my first ‘girlfriend’ – we didn’t actually date more than once or twice, but she was the first one I kissed so I was a bit overwhelmed with feelings for her. They were poems and notes never given expressing my uneducated feeling of love to her. I found other stuff I had written about and for a girl I met in college that I fell head over heels for, only to have my feelings put in check quickly. I found love poems for a girl I thought I was destined to be married to – but was told that I wasn’t good enough for her.
And I don’t know why I kept all these notes and poems and writings laying around. I couldn’t in good conscience dig through them and give one to a new girlfriend. They served a purpose for their time, but they are no longer needed. Like a rotary phone, they were good once, but now they’re just old news. Depressing news, really. I couldn’t believe that I was hanging on to bits of memories of people who rejected me, turned me down, and used me. Was I hoping that someday they would all come back to me, saying, “We were all wrong! Take us back!”? Was I wanting to recall the good times by looking at the bad things that I could remember?
I put the bag of papers in the trash – I kept my school reports and papers because I spent A LOT of time on those and I’m not ready to just toss those. But the notes, the love poems, the pages and pages of letters expressing my undying love for girls who have long since gone? They’re making their way to the bottom of the landfill, and my memories of those who they were for are making their way there, too.
much love. sheth.