It took about 7 mins for me to pick up on all the designer clothes I had never heard of, nor would my parents ever be buying me, and a couple of senior class “men” with deep voices and what looked like beards, to walk by my locker and I wanted to haul my uniform craving, goody two shoes ass back to the nuns. I was terrified.
So I wrote about it.
I wrote a lot. It became a nightly ritual. During the day, in those scary loud halls, I held my breath and stayed oh so quiet. Then at home in my room I took out those floral fabric covered blank pages and I exhaled. I found a way to be myself. Or at least I let out some things I didn’t feel I could amid the deep voiced bearded upper class-men.
I continued to write in that journal throughout my awkward freshman year and didn’t stop when I got to the end. There were more floral books of truth to follow. Floral fabrics, angels (I had such a thing for cherubs. I got one on my hip from my 18th birthday to commemorate this love of celestial beings…but that’s another story) to half used and ripped spiral notebooks. It stopped mattering what it looked like on the outside, I just needed a place to pour myself out. I wrote religiously from the age of 14 until I graduated college. I saved each and every one. These books were filled with my guts. I knew enough to know that some of those gut stained pages contained information that even I, the gut spiller, may have needed but was not ready to hear. My own truth felt like TMI. It was enough to write it down.
Yet I refused to do the burning thing. I wasn’t able to let go of all they remembered for me. I moved this tupperware bin of memories around for years. Every once in awhile I would consider opening them up but never really cared to take the plunge into my own history.
Until one random day about 3 years ago…..
There was absolutely no sign that this was going to go down. I hadn’t been wondering about them. I hadn’t been planning it. They weren’t really even on my radar. It was just an out of the blue afternoon when I was hanging something up in my closet and saw the bin up there on the shelf. It was a clear bin and I could see the array of floral fabric binds. I kind of shrugged my shoulders and thought, “What the hell?”. I was alone. Kids were at school. I just wanted to see that first book. That freshman year one. My oldest was slowly but surely creeping up on that age and time of her life, maybe I would want to share this journal with her. Maybe I could pass down some solid wisdom from those pages of honesty.
What began as a moment of curiosity turned into a full on devouring of forgotten moments. I sat on the floor of my closet soaking up freshman and sophomore year not noticing the clock kept moving. Before I knew it, my girls were standing at the closet door wondering what the hell I was doing on the floor with wide eyes surrounded by a sea of floral fabric.
The next few days were spent reading every free second I came upon. I couldn’t get enough down. I didn’t come up for air. I had to read and re-read. Breathe and swallow and swallow and breath……..all that I had forgotten. How did I not remember? Was this a “too big” reaction? maybe. But it became quite clear, quite quickly…. I was entitled to some big freaking feelings. These journals triggered the ever living shit out of me. Talk about being spooned some truth into a big bowl of denial. Damn.
Life is so weird.