Apparantely, so had I.
Visually, I see my first visit as one with many different colored doors representing the past. They surrounded me creating a perimiter I could not cross without stepping through one of them. Each mutually exclusive from the other, forcing me to immerse momentarily then reemerge temporarily teetering from the stark constrast of that girl versus me.
Today I ascended the stairs confident, mentally prepared -- knowing I would continue to find vivid, blatent reminders of the many lives I used to lead, even looking forward to certain doors reappearing. To be clear, I realize that life is constant, a multi-layered series of events creating your experience and leading you to the present moment. But, back then, before I reached any space of self-acualization, life truly felt segregated to me.
When I was a student, I was all student. Anal to the point of devestation at an A-, doing and redoing my work, then finalizing it two days before the deadline 'just in case' there was something I had to change...
When I was a teacher, I was all teacher. My focus was exclusively teaching, creating lesson plans, developing curriculum, connecting with families, attending student's sporting events...
When I was in a relationship my whole world revolved around it, or - more specifically, him.
I found evidence of all these things today.
And yet, those individualized doors didn't appear. Instead, I saw one large swinging door. It was in constant motion inviting me to peek, but not delve. Encouraging me to see each part of my personal evolution as another layer, not another burst bubble left behind never to be revisited.
- I sifted through cases and cases of class notes from high school, college and grad school.
- I found letters from old boyfriends.
- I found college application essays and their corresponding acceptance letters.
- I found evidence of my 'well roundedness', (read: extreme nerdiness) -- although I now believe the two phrases are interchangable.
- My extra-curriculars screamed overachiever with entries such as: HOBY (Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Foundation), Close-Up, Goveners Institute for the Arts, National Honor Society Award for something...
- I found my baby book, letters to Santa, my first tooth that ever fell out, and other small pieces of my childhood signed and dated by my parents as they put them away.
Nothing threw me, until I found this,
An innocuous, albeit buldging, envelope with faded pencil letters spelling: Emma. I'm fine. I knew there was more. Just open it.I put my hand inside, eyes averted, like someone picking the winning giveaway number, I will pick out what I am supposed to. My hand landed on something thick. I pulled.
As I stared at the missing journal tears came without control. I had looked for this tirlessly last summer as I began the manuscript. Finally, giving up the search, I grieved how it must have been lost in one of our many moves. But here it was, in my hand, and I wasn't sure I could open it.
It held the beginning. The real, raw, I sometimes just wrote profanities across the page beginning. I need to go there, but not with Comedian next to me. Those are my layers, your layers, but not hers.
And so, here is where I will explore that journal, that portal back to dark days when nothing made sense, or mattered, or caused me to care.
Each post that is journal related will be marked Back To The Beginning - Part X, and so -- another series is born.
My hope for this series is dual:
1: that I am able to revisit those days with perspective filled eyes
2: that you, where ever you are in your grief process will be benefit from seeing where I started, putting where I am in just a bit more perspective.
Just like at our SHARE meetings, there are no rules. You can read and be silent or take over the comment section with your 'beginning' story. I sincerely look forward to sharing this journey with you.