I ended up in college, legitimately, when I was 15. The first class I took was a playwriting class where I’m absolutely positive I embarrassed myself in ways my 15-year-old self could never have understood. Thank Christ I didn’t keep those masterpieces.
I read, in its entirety, the contents of the first blog I kept, The L Factor, which documented roughly two years of my life starting from the time my son was about four weeks old until the time his father and I divorced.
I remember when I shut that operation down. Knowing that some of the posts I had written during that era of my life were words I wouldn’t want anyone I planned on having in the next era discovering via Google.
I can honestly say I don’t know what possessed me to print the archives of that site and bind them like a book. I did, though, and on a scale of 1 to 10 regarding how I feel about rereading, and having in my possession, documentation of that time, exactly a 10. Where 10 = very good.
I was amazed to find myself actually amused at my own writing style, stories of becoming a new mother and of my first marriage and its ups and downs. (Surprisingly, a few more ups than I would have guessed now.) It was also wonderful to find recorded memories of some happy little times in my life that surely would have otherwise been thrown out with the rest of my mind's trash, in a landfill that has long been buried in asphalt and forgotten.
Letters to my young son regarding his habits in pooping and the pattern of his first teeth growing in made me absolutely weep. The post I wrote on his first birthday was a treasure that made the rest of the nonsense worth reading. I found a post tiled “Old House, New House” which was the sorriest excuse for a poem a person could find, but it was thickly laced with memories about the first home I owned – the garden and the kitchen I loved so dearly but have a hard time picturing.
More than anything else, I found memories of a marriage that ended only a few short years ago, yet it is one I sometimes forget even existed.
My ex-husband is so much a stranger to me that it’s a sincere struggle to remember his middle name. Scott. He and I have a continuing “relationship” which starts and ends with parenting and the occasional discussion regarding film or music, one of the few things we had in common. Although, he was always much more knowledgeable than me and kept me informed on these subjects, making even those topics a struggle between us these days. To think this used to be a man I often professed my unconditional love for on the world wide web…..
Reading this one and only recorded “book” of my life has helped me realize the value that writing it actually had. Not only do I get to read back, helping me remember the good and the bad qualities that my young self possessed, I also see why I never have it in me these days to write a blog post, let alone a short note to a friend to send along with the days mail: writing encourages writing. Imagine!
Not an easy realization, either, knowing that in my early twenties I had so much more will to be creative and so much more time, apparently. Relearning some aspects of myself that I had so obviously forgotten without really noticing has inspired me to pick myself up by my typing fingers and get back to it.
I spend a lot of hours at this particular juncture in my life imagining what down the road looks like and remembering that this life is, for most, a marathon and not a sprint. Funny thing is, I know I used this same logic during the years of my life I just took a stroll through via my own written thoughts and feelings – and let me tell you that where I have ended up today is not at all what I had imagined as I was becoming a new mother and, shortly thereafter, a newly single mother.
I can’t say exactly if I’m better or worse off than I’d imagined. I like to think better off, applying that old saying that hindsight is 20/20.
I certainly have learned a lot. I’ve stopped doing some of the things I love creatively (scrapbooking, photography, writing, hell – reading), I’ve changed my hair more times than I can count, I’ve developed a love affair with coffee, I’ve lost old friends and made new ones. I’ve traveled and explored landscapes I never even knew existed, I’ve mellowed in some aspects and become overwhelmingly crazy in others.
We change with each passing year, more than we, at times, care to realize and more than we are, at times, even capable of realizing. Today I learned that some of the changes we undergo within life’s passing years are for the better and some are for the worse. But, those little parts that make you who you are, the parts you like, can easily be forgotten forever if you never have anything to remind you of them.
I think I’ll start writing again….
P.S. I found this little gem amidst the hundreds of posts I just re read – saved as a draft. I guess some things never change:
March 12, 2007 at 11:26 pm
It’s harder than you would think to type while drunk and it’s harder than you’d think to go through life sober. This is becoming a problem between my blog and I…