I’ve been cleaning out my house. More specifically, my closets. I do this every once in a while when it starts to get cluttered. Sometimes I’m not sure if it is the physical collection of items in my house I am trying to get rid of, or if, in reality, I am trying to rid myself of the chaos (and extra baggage) my mind starts to accumulate over time and the disposal of tangible items helps to give me a false sense of mental security. Either way, there I was organizing a load of crap in an obscure closet that I never open when I happened upon an old box of letters and journals. I knew what it was immediately. I know the box well. It’s plastic. And teal. And encroaching. It is far more intimidating than it looks. I hid it back there, under this pile of untouchables, purposely, hoping to never stumble upon it again, or at the very least, to find it when I was more stable, more emotionally sound, more at ease with my past and present. (Some days I wonder if that will ever happen).
The contents of this box… I could write a book on the contents of this box. It is filled with a range of items from my 17th, 18th, and 19th year of life. This box is home to hospital bracelets. Letters from family and friends. Cards of encouragement. And love, so much love and yearning. Tears, it’s full of tears. Lost opportunity. Damage. Pain. Regret. So much fucking regret. And journals.. Pages and pages of words. My words. Words written eloquently, or sometimes not. Words scribbled down so quickly, as if I couldn’t manage to get it all on paper quick enough. My thoughts and feelings just pouring off the pages. Sometimes it is hard for me to believe I was once this girl, other times it is hard for me to believe I am not still her. Sometimes it is hard for me to reconcile my 29 year old mother’s mind with the things I have done in my life – at that time. Other times, I look in the mirror and don’t see much of a difference.
Those were darker days for me. Times when I let my young self travel down paths I had no business being on. Times that I took the hand of those I loved and brought them with me. And, at the end, leaving them there without a hand to guide them out of the menacing forest of total shit that I’d brought us too. I’m guilty of a lot of things. But that, right there, is by far the most haunting. The most soul wrenching. The absolute worst. Sometimes, at night, the thought of this person, who they could have been and who they are now, alone in this horrible demon filled place on account of my doing is too much to bare. Sometimes I want to travel back there, just so I can escape the guilt I feel at having gotten out. Sometimes I just wanna go back so I can hug the scared girl leading the young boy by the hand into the depths of this unforgiving place. I wanna hug them and stop them. Pull them out. Tell them they are only babies – they know nothing of this world. I wanna bring them back.
And that right there is the problem. It’s two fold, ya know? Going back in my mind, moving forward in life.. what else can one do? So, I’m going to try for the hundredth time to just let it all go. Let the universe have all of my pain, and guilt, and disgust. I’m going to let it all go. Again. Shove this damn box back in the closet where it belongs and continue to bury it under ten more year’s worth of crap.. and maybe then I can dig it out, dust it off, and reconcile my current self with the contents inside.