One of the benefits of staying at home during the COVID-19 quarantine was that it gave me time to reassess the “stuff” I have acquired over the years. I did a merciless, no-holds-barred purge of my closets and bedroom drawers, throwing out or donating all the clothes that don’t fit, are too worn and threadbare to be respectable, are not suitable for my current life (as evidenced by the fact that I can’t remember the last time I wore them), or make me feel dumpy or like I am trying too hard. This process was traumatic, but I stuffed my feelings along with the rejected garments. I ate some chocolate and plunged ahead. I also trashed some of the souvenirs from my working life. I did not get rid of everything, but I did discard items that no longer sparked joy. I cannot imagine why I ever thought it necessary to move across the country with a list of emergency contact numbers for people I temporarily managed two years before I left the workforce.
As I conducted my shock and awe purge of joyless articles of uselessness, I ran across some writing I did over the years. As some of you know, I always wanted to write, but the business of making a living pretty much dominated my life for 30 plus years. I forgot that I had, in fact, been writing during that 30 years. I tended to write a bit or piece of something and stuff it in a drawer. I am beginning to think that my reason for not pursuing my writing was only partially about time. I think a big part of it was about fear- fear of failure, fear of exposure, fear of myself. I do not have a lot of the material I wrote in my prime, but I do have a few things. These pieces, strangely enough, seem to be remarkably like what I would call “blog posts” today. Most of them were written long before anyone had ever heard of a “blog post.”
As I was reading these relics of the me I used to know, I found myself chuckling. They reminded me of a time in my life when my priorities, self-image, and outlook were different than they are today. I remember the me who suffered way more than her life conditions merited. I remember the me who did not believe in her own worth. I enjoyed knowing her. I enjoyed maturing her into someone more settled, more joyful, and more confident. As I read these older writings, I remember I liked the girl who wrote them. She was kind. She was funny. She had a great sense of life’s absurdities. She was introspective. She was committed to becoming the best person she could be. She had a catchy turn of phrase. She believed in the beauty of the soul.
I realize all those qualities I admire in the girl who wrote the articles I found stuffed into drawers are still me. They are simply better and more polished and more well-integrated now. That makes me happy.
I have now written over 500 words now to give you the backstory for my main reason for today’s blog post. I think I am going to share some of that early me with you over the next few months. Every now and again, I am going to post something I wrote years ago as a “Wayback Wednesday” blog piece. I hope you will enjoy them and that you like the girl who wrote them as much as I have come to like her.
Do you ever come across a picture or letter or some other souvenir of another time in your life? How does it make you feel? Please share your perspective by leaving a comment. In the alternative, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a wayback wonderful day!