Most of the time when I start to write, I’m writing about what happened yesterday or today or what might happen tomorrow. It’s my current stream of consciousness thats pouring out my fingertips and sometimes I know where I want to start and where it will end and sometimes I have no idea. If I know, then I already have a title in mind but if I don’t know or as I write it turns and goes a whole different direction, I go back and think of a new title when I’m done.
Today I am compelled to write about something because of what I read when I woke up in the middle of the night last night. As I laid in my bed, I did what I am sure all single girls do when they can’t sleep.. I checked Slack, and email, and social media (not necessarily in that order). There was a notification in my email in-box for a new post from a friend of mine which I always enjoy reading.
Contrary to my droning on and on about my life and times in the here and now, his posts are mostly historical accounts of his life. It’s funny how you can be friends with someone and chat them up about current events and maybe never really know them. I talk too much, I’m sorry.
Things revealed about a persons past are very telling. They are a major contributing factor to who that person is today because if they didn’t go through all that stuff, they would be different. Their lives would be completely different and maybe that means you never would have met them at all. It’s a concept that is little too twisted to contemplate for long but it is a factor none the less. We could dwell in the “what if” world when thinking about the past, but that’s not productive either so probably the best thing we can do is stop once and a while to acknowledge it out of respect and recognize those moments that played a part in making us who we are.
So this post is a head nod at little bits of my own past, so I can read what I wrote when I am 75 and remember…
I’ve been journaling and writing poetry since about 7th or 8th grade but I also really liked burning candles and starting fires. We moved a lot when I was a kid because my parents were divorced and my mom was quite swayed by her relationships and most of the time when we moved it was because of that.
She dated and married a guy and we moved into his house. She divorced him and we moved out. She got a better job and bought a house. She dated another guy and we moved into his house. They got married and bought a house together and we moved again. That was all in the span of about 5 or 6 years. My Jr. High and High School years.
One of the houses we lived in had a real fireplace which I thought was pretty much the bomb. Of all the houses we lived in, that one was my favorite (it was also the only one that was in-between marriage 2 and 3 where no boyfriend or husband was involved). There were four of us kids so my option, as a freshman in high school, was to either share a room with my two sisters (8 and 1 years old), or live in the sun room. I chose to live in the sun room. It was less like a porch and more like an addition to the house and the room had nice carpet and windows and came complete with both a stand up piano and an organ left by the guy we rented the place from. I couldn’t play, but I thought it was super cool anyhow. That room was my sanctuary and where I did a LOT of writing. It’s also where I burned a lot of candles.
Back then I didn’t have the foresight to recognize how important that writing would be to me. I was an emotional teenager who struggled in the silence of my own little world because my parents were too preoccupied by their own agendas which didn’t really include us much. I didn’t really rely on my friends much for the heavy stuff either probably because I didn’t think they would understand. In 10th grade I connected with Stacey who I knew did. She was a year younger than I was and in band. I feel compelled to write about that relationship too, but it deserves way more than just a tangent here.
Anyhow, I wrote hundreds of pages in notebooks to work through everything. It was journaling, poetry, even short stories. The main characters in those stories were always teenage girls who were suicidal. I wasn’t, but maybe that’s because I had that outlet to release those kinds of thoughts. I don’t know.
I lost most of what I wrote back then to the fire. Not like a house fire or anything as dramatic as that. It was fires I would start in our fireplace on Saturday nights when I was babysitting and my mom was out on dates. I’d have an emotional moment and get pissed off at my life and throw those pages into the fire. So… poof.. they literally went up in smoke.
That went on until we moved into the house of the man who would become my moms 3rd husband. He didn’t have a fireplace and he had really strict rules. I hated him.
I eventually had to leave because of that. Or I got kicked out.. I don’t really remember.
Can you imagine kicking out your eldest daughter, who didn’t drink or party or hang out with the wrong people? A girl who was in honors classes and excelled at school and was into cheer and drama and choir? No.. me neither, but that was the situation. It’s probably because I stopped babysitting when I finally started dating and coming home after curfew.
I know my mom regrets all that very deeply now, but at the time that is what she chose. It may have been for the best though because that man was willing to take my infant sister as his own and help raise her. She turned out really great and is now a shining light in my life and one of my best friends. So I’m glad she had a father. See.. that’s a case for something rotten that I went through, yet my life is better for it.
Here’s a few more relevant facts for posterity…
1. My favorite childhood movie was The Dark Crystal by Jim Henson, it’s superb.
2. My favorite movie as an adolescent was Dead Poets Society. Yes really.
3. My favorite movie in my 20’s was Shawshank Redemption.
4. Til Kingdom Come by Coldplay will forever be the song that reminds me of the day my 17 year marriage officially came to an end.
5. My favorite font is Times New Roman.
6. I still like to start fires and having a real fireplace was a prerequisite when I bought the house I live in now. I never use my pages as kindling and almost everything I write now is electronic.
I think that’s enough looking back now. Time to turn around and look today in the eye.
Let’s Do This Sunday Thing,
PS. 45,000+ songs is a shit ton!! I thought my 7k was a lot! If you like Smashing Pumpkins and don’t know Silversun Pickups, check them out. I highly recommend. 😊