I can't decide whether being home has been good for my mental health or not. My mom finally got me motivated enough to go into my old room and start cleaning out the piles of crap from my past... but it's pretty unnerving to see such a collection of letters from old boyfriends, and my overly detailed journals from high school and early Wesleyan. Mollie Nelson was such a twit. (That's a nice way of putting it. I think the proper high school term would be "whore".) Actually, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have been friends with me if I were a classmate of mine. Perhaps this is why I feel so compelled to write here and now, because it's enlightening to be accountable for your emotions and past actions. I understand now how good I am at strategically forgetting the past in order to smooth out the future. Call it protection, call it normal, call it unhealthy - I'm not sure what it is. Blocking out various events in my life must come naturally to me.
What I'm trying to get at is that I'm shocked at who I used to be... and maybe slightly afraid that my old capricious self lurks somewhere around the corner. How much of our past still defines who we are? How much of your current definition of self is made up of carefully chosen, positive memories? What about all of the icky stuff? Is that good for us? I don't know, but the answer to these questions has completely preoccupied me.
To come to some conclusion on how to address my emotions, I have made the difficult choice to keep the love letters and the journals are now tucked away in a neat pile. (oh the passion! the energy! the longing! where has this all gone in the era of the email and blogs? I'm reminded of each person by the sweet subtleties in handwriting, cleverness in the margins, poorly chosen stationery.) Throwing these things out would just be another way for me to escape my history.
p.s. - love my disdain for technology and email? I AM AN OLD FART.