Attic findings

On Sunday I was able to spend some time with my parents and have a great dinner and catch up.  Again we’ve gone too long in between visits and it was really nice to just go and relax with them.  Wade wasn’t able to come with me this time, but when he does go, my mom always has ‘projects’ for him – i.e., fix the closet door that’s off the hinges).  This time, being just me, I was given the project, which turned out to be delightful.

My mom and I went to the attic and she requested that I go through all my boxes that were there.  The number of boxes totalling 10(ish) – I didn’t need to complete the project in one day.  I knew I had stuff in the attic, but I didn’t realize how much.  And I was not aware of exactly what the contents were.  So we sat down and I grabbed the first one.

Little did I know, that my mom saved every paper I have ever written and every picture I’ve drawn and every card I received from friends and family.  And this is not including the things I gave to her and Papa.  It was wonderful! 

I was thrilled when I opened one box and found all of my journalism articles from college.  I thought they were gone forever because my computer was struck by lightening.  But they were ALL there and, better than the hard drive copies, these were the edited copies. 

Delving into the boxes more, I found stories I had written when I was 5:  My Cats –written & illustrated by yours truly.  It won an award.  At least according to the paper time line I made of my life up until the age of 7.  I found documentation of going to see Peter Rabbit on Easter and made the bold statement of “you should have been there!”  (what kid talks like that???).  There were multiple stories about my family and how much I love them even though Sister Carrie (as if she were a nun!) was mean to me sometimes. 

And then I came across the box that held the diaries.

Diary 1 was documentation of ages 11-15 and Diary 2 was 16-17.  The diary after that turned into a ‘journal’ and after awhile I threw it away.  I strongly considered throwing these away, because just looking at them made me uncomfortable.  I knew that that the girl who wrote all those entries was long behind me, but part of me was upset that the girl was once me.  Socially awkward, unattractive Elizabeth.  Elizabeth with low self-esteem.  Elizabeth who wanted to fit in.  Elizabeth who, as it turns out was boy crazy, but the boys didn’t like her back.  I knew it was all in there and I didn’t want to relive it.  But I did.  And that’s when I discovered:

~ I was writing about the Gulf War and how I didn’t really “get” it and in that same entry my sister came in to tell me that the war was over going to be put on hold for a few years.

~ My hand writing changed depending on my mood.  When there were some bad times with my sister (which I hardly wrote about) my handwriting looked… angry!

~ There is humor in looking back on how I desperately wanted my friend Kevin to “like like” me and he just didn’t.  Ah, hindsight….if I only knew then that he would come out of the closet in a few years, my heart wouldn’t have hurt so much.

~ Assuming my diaries were truthful, I had many more happy times than the upsetting times I associate with the high school years.

~ The people I mention the most are the people who are still in my life: My family, aforementioned Kevin, and a couple high school friends – the only 2 who were at my wedding.

~ I remember some things wrong.  If I was under oath I would have sworn that the day I took Tim our prom pictures was the day I got in my first car accident.  Evidently the car accident was a week later.

My mom asked why it made me uncomfortable and why just thinking about the girl who wrote those diaries was bringing tears to my eyes. I couldn’t really explain it.  But that girl made me who I am today.  I grew from those experiences and I learned from them.  And although these will be under lock and key forever, they will not be in a trash can, because it would be wrong to throw away those memories. 



~ by zuzu on April 29, 2008.

3 Responses to “Attic findings”

  1. What a treasure! I think it would be really cool to find my papers but they are all lost, I believe. I still have all my journals – NEVER would I have left them in any hands but mine. But I would love to find my research papers and all my book reports?! My book reports would be fascinating, I think…

  2. That’s wonderful that she kept everything. I have those diaries too, in a box, at my mom’s house. I’ve read through them a few times and they’re…interesting. But you’re right. Those moments made us who we are today. And you’re pretty damn awesome 🙂

  3. I remember being that girl, writing on the clean, lined page and then locking it with a key, and wondering who I would be when I read it again. You found that girl!

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