"People come and go in life, but they never leave your dreams. Once they're in your subconscious they are immortal" ~ Patricia Hampl
There is a closet in the room that was once mine that is full of my things. Every time I come home I cull it a little bit more. Each time I arrive I have changed a little bit so some things have greater meaning for me and others have lost it. I am amazed at my former self when I do this and ask myself WHY I still have a baseball cap from high school or a broken piggy bank? Why have I not thrown them out during the twelve other times I have done this?
This time I did something I have never done before. This time I tackled my letter box. Since I was about fifteen I have kept every letter I have ever gotten. The box was full of letters, old photographs, school notes still folded up to look like stars, birthday cards, and post cards. I thought I would just throw most of them away but as soon as I opened one envelope, I was transported. That box didn't just hold paper. That box held ghosts.
There were letters from friends who I can't even picture any more. There were birthday cards from my grandparents. I teared up when I read, "We love you, love Grandma and Grandpa" because I will never get a card like that again. There were letters from two of my friends who are now gone. Their ordinary lives and youthful exuberance filled the pages and I cried, knowing what I know now about their future, and realizing how much of my time I am wasting.
There were love letters there, too. One set were from a particularly horny boy who I can't even picture any more. I laughed when I read them because my naive teenage self had no idea what he was writing, but I sure do now! There were others too. I shake my head because I always felt lonely and ugly and awkward as a teen. I had mad crushes on the boys who would never love me, but didn't realize that there were boys who had mad crushes on me. How sad that part of being young is.
One set of letters and notes was from the boy who adored me and who I loved back. I know now that I was too scared of those feelings to tell him or act on them. I was scared that he might want to (gasp) have sex with me and I was terrified and not ready for the hugeness of what we could have been. I know I hurt him dreadfully and I will forever be sorry for that. I hope he has forgiven me.
There were notes and letters from my family and from people I am still friends with. All of this childish angst and excitement and energy was contained in the box. I felt overwhelmed by the spirits and memories swirling around me as I opened each envelope and revealed what was inside. All of what I was and who was important to me washed over me and I felt wobbly and shaken when I was finished.
I kept some of the most precious things but I admit that I threw a lot of it away. It may sound strange to you but I feel lighter and older since letting those energies free. I feel like somehow I was carrying all of that stuff around with me and now it's gone. I've chosen what to keep and what to remember and what to let go of. I'm so excited to get my teeth into a new year. I feel like I have made a space in my life for new spirits to enter. This year I am going to marry my best friend, finish (and hopefully sell) my book, be part of a website launch (with global domination, of course) and hopefully change this world a little bit for the better.