A Stroll Down Memory Lane

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been what people call a hoarder. I never wanted to get rid of anything, because I never wanted to lose whatever memory it held, good or bad, and I always wanted to remember exactly how I felt in that moment. We’re talking movie ticket stubs, stuffed animals, class schedules, notes I’d received from friends between classes, even copies of letters that I’ve written to other people. Lately, I’ve been trying to clean house and get rid of a lot of things that I have no need for. It started with all of my belongings that I packed up at my parents’ house when I went away to school. I threw away so many things that probably once had some meaning, but are now insignificant reminders of my childhood. Then, I moved on to my junk drawer filled with old bank statements, unfiled taxes, and a bunch of unsent thank you cards from my high school and college graduations (sorry, mom). Finally, I moved on to my electronic junk. Old term papers and assignments, notices and fliers for the dorm, and emails. I pulled my old Yahoo! account and began to read old emails that would evetually end up in a cyber landfill.

What better place to begin than the folder with all of the emails received from my college boyfriend? Don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t a time-to-do-away-with-all-that-triflin-asshole’s-emails type of thing. To this day, he and I are still really good friends and neither of us have any ill feelings toward the other. It was almost entertaining to go back in time and try to remember what was happening at the time each letter was written, and to try and remember what state of mind I was in when I first read them. To reflect on talk of exams, football games, dorm activities, and our favorite hangouts definitely took me for a stroll down memory lane.  What was most amusing was to read the letters sent during or just after a fight we’d had. The fights and the letters all seemed so intense at the timee, but now I’m left with the question, WHAT WERE WE EVEN TALKING ABOUT???  Aside from the fact that most of what we argued about was so trivial and juvenile, at the time it seemed like war of the worlds. All of our feelings had that same intensity. We talked to each other like we, at 18 knew everything about the world around us and there was nothing that could come between the love we had for one another. We were so certain hat we would marry, but realistically even if we didn’t, we knew that our love would always be with the other.

After completing the last email, my first thought was that we have both changed and grown up so much since then, and I began to wonder how we couldn’t see how immature we were at the time. Then I wondered if 5 years from now, I’ll be asking myself that same question about things that seem to be so serious to me in my dealings with men today.

Are the things that I think are life or death-type feelings at (almost) 26 just as silly as I now feel things were when I was 18? Is what I’m upset about really that big of a deal? Am I able to see various situations for what they really are without letting my intense feelings steer me away from reality? Well, I’d certainly like to think that I am a rational, mature thinker, but I guess I won’t really know the answer until I look back at my blog 5 years from now.  I’d hate to think that the feelings I have and the things I go through that seriously hurt my feelings are trivial and will one day be disregarded just like my old movie ticket stubs. Since its very possible that the feelings I have may one day mean nothing to me, should I even continue to invest more of myself into them? Then again, when will I know when its okay to give 100% toward a lasting romance? Will I ever know, or is everything in the hands of faith and fate? Conflicted.

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