“You’re going to be a great success”

Oh, shit…

Now, I’ve done it.

Generally, it would be a positive development to begin going through long-sacred clutter and getting rid of some of it. The problem is that much of it resonates far too deeply with me for it to be trashed. Specifically, I’m referring to piles of papers from school–mostly college, some high school, and even English papers from junior high. I’ll get to those in due time. I’m going to document this little exercise, as digitizing some of it make be the way to compromise between hoarding this stuff forever and getting out of my life.

Oh, but tonight, as I inched closer to the end of these piles, I came upon the infamous high school yearbook.

And I did what no 35-year-old should do. I looked at the front and back covers, and the edge-to-edge signatures and niceties of my classmates. There are stunningly sweet words from the most unlikely people, who could’ve simply said, “Have a nice summer, and good luck!”

I haven’t gone through them all, but there’s one that both shatters and reassures my heart at the same time. She’s a now-married Facebook friend. (Whom do I know who’s my age and NOT married?) She’s among the great many Facebook friends I have whom I don’t allow to see my links to my blog. When I feel I’ll either scare someway away, or spoil the generally-favorable opinion of someone who’s an acquaintance, or I can’t bearing to know what someone may think of the inevitable baring of my soul, they’re relegated to seeing just the basic info and the occasional totally harmless post. (I don’t revise these lists of my often, so take no offense if you are reading this blog but don’t see its link in Facebook.)

I came close to posting something devastating that I had written back in college, but I slept on it last night, and no longer felt the pull to publish it today. I think I feel the same about these yearbook comments.

This chore is opening up a hundred old wounds. Damaged relationships. Desired relationships that never came to be. Academic aspirations that faded out of my grasp. Deflating mediocrity displayed time and time again.

This is an exorbitant price to pay for cleaning off the dining room table.

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One thought on ““You’re going to be a great success”

  1. Weirdly, I just did this two days ago, with similar results. High schoolers are so definite about everything, and high school seniors are so optimistic about everything. Like my boyfriend when I graduated, who wrote an entire yearbook page about how we were destined to be together forever. It’s incredible to me how we both missed in those years how incredibly and uncompromisingly gay he is.

    I have other scraps of paper that are so stupid but i keep around for nostalgia. In my mom’s house I have essays I wrote in German, which i could never do now. In our current house I have college essays I wrote in Farsi, which I could also not do now. Sometimes it’s a bummer but sometimes…I don’t know. it’s nice to remember what you’re capable of.

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