Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Down Memory Lane

Since i now have all the time in the world but still need to start preparing my moving back to France, today, i decided to go through all the books i have on my book shelves. All the books and everything that has been sitting there for ever and gathering dust. And dear lord do i own stuff. It is amazing how much crap you're accumulating over the years and somehow, all that crap got carried from one place to another, one house to another over the past 11 years i've been to Mexico.

So today, i went through every single book i own and put aside the ones i want to take back home with me. The rest, i made 2 piles: the french books on one side, and the not in french books on the other side. And i'll give them all away (the ones i dont want of course).

As i was getting closer to the bottom of my shelf, i started to find bags of old pictures and old diaries of mine. Stuff so old it was from the time BEFORE i arrived to Mexico. This is some shit that is at least 11 years old. And i'm still carrying that around?
So i grabbed a gigantic garbage bag and started to review every single pictures i found. Seriously, there are some pictures of people i dont even recognize. Places i dont remember going to. And some of me, oh dear god, i wish i'd never seen. That's the problem when you see something. You can't un-see it. 
So i started tossing. And i actually tossed a LOT. Strangely, it was a mixed feeling to do this. A mixed feeling between nostalgia and detachment.
Nostalgia of a time that was and never will be again. About the people i was hanging out with then that i've lost touch with. About the places i had visited and seen that one time. About the person i was then.

But at the same time, i felt detached of all these things. Just like it wasnt part of me anymore. Just like if it was the pictures and the memories of someone else. That's actually the way it's been feeling lately. That this life i'm in right now doesnt belong to me anymore. That my time in Mexico has come to an end. In my head, i'm already gone. I now feel closer to the people in France (most of whom i only know virtually) than anybody here.

It's an odd feeling to go through 11 years of your own life. Especially when it's from your adult life. You see the bigger picture, you see the progression of where you were standing then and where you're standing now. Pictures, diaries, letters, newspapers, even little notes i was leaving for my boyfriend of the time. Reading these notes i wrote with my own hands so many years ago felt like a total intrusion into someone's intimacy. It felt like i was violating someone's secret memories. It even made me feel so uncomfortable i stop reading and disposed of it. 

I now understand why some people ask complete strangers to do all that sorting for them. You dont have the emotional involvement, it doesnt make old stuff surface and slither back in your life unexpectedly.

I didnt expect to find all this. Nor did i expect to be "affected" by it as i ended up being. I guess it made me grasp the scope of what i'm about to do. It's not really a chapter of my life i'm closing, it's an entire BOOK. And the next one is ready to be started, with a little terrifying detail: it's not written yet.

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