Monday, July 31, 2006

Old photos

So I was reading Juno's awesome post about going to a concert and how she would likely need therapy afterwards since the singer carries memories of THAT guy...(go read it, I'll be here when you get back).

A couple of days ago, Madeline was poking around the cupboards and found an old photo album I had from my university days. It was like a loaded ticking timebomb in the shape of a $3 dollar album full of very bittersweet memories.

1. Old university friends who I thought I'd love forever but later drifted away from and now lost forever. The girls I told everything to. The ones I had inside jokes with but eventually we all kind of betrayed each other in some way or another.

2. Plenty of old boyfriends...the guy I went to graduation with, the one who really broke my heart in first year, the one I lost my virginity to, my first university boyfriend, the first guy who said he loved me (ack!)... I kind of giggle cause these were all different "boys"!

3. Pictures of people whose names I'd forgotten. People I'd thought were much more attractive at the time than they actually were. Girls I thought were prettier and better than me. Boys who wouldn't look at me twice.

So I'm left wondering if I should burn the whole damn thing or go through it page by page, feel the pain/nostalgia/cramping and just put it to bed emotionally. I remember putting the album together and it being a bitter experience to begin with - almost a raw need to document the good and the bad. I remember wanting the album to be "true" and not something falsely portraying those years as totally carefree and happy - because they weren't. How the bad ended up outweighing the good I just don't know. And sometimes I wonder if I am a better person now or not? And I wonder why I was so stupid and why I couldn't have done better than I did? And then I think that maybe I was fine - that we all were really - and that's what being in your early 20's is about.

I once swore I didn't regret anything that happened to me or that I did. But I do. What I regret, however, is not what I expected.

I really wish that I'd paid less attention to the drama and politics of the interpersonal and more time to figuring out who I was/am. Maybe what followed wouldn't have happened at all.


moi, in Vancouver said...

Not to get too "shrink"ish but i don't think you should burn it! don't know about the pics of "K" since i don't know that i would be able to handle those but...

you are who you are as a result of all those thoughts, feelings and people and events. besides, if what followed hadn't happened you wouldn't have 2 great kids and a good job (okay, you are still stuck in Ottawa, sorry) and you wouldn't have run into me again and you would have robbed me of some of my fav memories (bittersweet though they might be). k, can't keep writing on the blog but DON'T BURN THEM!

stitch-dom said...

true...okay I won't burn it. And never you mind missy - those bitter memories aren't about you...

wanna-baa said...

Paying attention to The Drama and Interpersonal Politics WAS you figuring out who you were... maybe you wish you went into all that knowing who you were already (Persona G, get outta here!) instead of having to figure it all out at the same time as needing to know it all - is that angst or irony??

I was thinking this morning of my mom's friend who told me (in my just-about-to-travel-and-conquer-the-world-full-of-youthful-enthusiasm-and-wonder stage, about the same time as these photos would've been taken) that the only things I would truly regret in life would be things I didn't do. I am starting to see that is VERY true, but it can take a lot of time. Time is what we did NOT have under our belts in our early 20's, and I think we did fabulously.

[okay trying to approach your level of eloquence and thoughtfulness and am squelched by baby crying - agh]

stitch-dom said...

lol...I don't think that was either eloquent or seemed more like some nice sounding verbal poop actually. I think what is so wierd is that I was proud of the drama because I felt like a victim. I guess now that I'm a wee bit older and hopefully wiser I see it wasn't "done" to me and I rather than being strong and angry, now I just feel regret at the role I also played at the time.

stitch-dom said...

p.s. squeeze the little bear cub for me wouldya?

Juno said...

Keep it. I think it's important to not forget what we learn...and to once in a while drag those feelings out into the light and see what we've become.

Dunno about your X, but getting rid of the photographic evidence won't change what happened. And learning to recognize the difference between drama and an actual relationship was a huge step for me, so I think you might be too hard on yourself there. We all have to learn it.