Last week, I spent some time going through my three boxes of film photos, just to see what's there and find some fun ones to scan. (See, I'm in the middle of two other projects, so I needed to find another one. :D)
I saw all kinds of little things I'd forgotten about. Like the time my little brother and I were playing around and he put his big stuffed ninja turtle in his shirt so that it looked like his own legs were green and furry. Or this cool game I had that was sort of like aimed pinball and you made designs. In shots of my old bedroom I was horrified at how messy I was (but...not too surprised), and then noticed the old plastic Rainbow Brite and Care Bears bowls we had. I snapped shots showing the change from my kid room walls (cute kittens and puppies) to teenage walls (my favorite baseball stars, inspirational quotes). One of my favorite shots of my dad, brother, best friend and me, at our beach.
Pictures from my high school graduation with my braces and semi-friends. Pictures from my college graduation with my younger siblings, who have now graduated from high school and college themselves. My kid cousins, who are now successful grown-ups, who I got to know better for a minute while in Seattle earlier this year. A roll of photos taken from my car as I drove down the Oregon and California coast.
Then the next day, I accidentally clicked on a former friend's folder in my email. I ended up reading through all of our exchanges--over four years' worth. This is the friend who dropped me suddenly my second year in NYC. In the pictures I'd gone through, there were a ton of the two of us. We'd sit in my car and laugh about who knows what, and take stupid photos of ourselves. (This is of course from the 35mm days, so most of them are blurry and half our faces are cut off. In a lot of them we look alike, which we always joked about. Something about having glasses and dark hair.) We'd had a lot of fun for a few years and the emails proved that we were actually friends. I still kind of want to know what on earth happened. But I won't.
(Do you keep old correspondence? I have a hard time getting rid of actual things, so it's not surprising that I semi-hoard electronic things. It's an amazing way to get a real glimpse of past iterations of life. Do you count a difference between actual letters and emails?)
Anyway, the first part of that week left me really disoriented for a day or so--the past was swirling around my head and it came back to life briefly.
I wonder where I'll be ten years from now, looking back on this year--my first year of *not* teaching, our first year of marriage. What kinds of progress or change will I have made that I look back on my 31 year old self and shake my head and say, wow, how little she knew! What memories will I have? What moments, big and little, will stick out?