The organised chaos

Age creeping up on me


As an unemployed person, I should have all the time in the world. But somehow, I find that the hours seem to fly by me so quickly. Maybe it’s due to the fact that I seem to be catching up on all the sleep that had eluded me last year, and all the TV shows (Battlestar Galactica, how I’ve missed you!) that have been piling up, unwatched, because of the wedding, of Christmas, of the house, of a thousand and one excuses.

On the spur of the moment last night, I decided to clear out some of my cupboards and pack for the big move. If I had been in any doubt that I am a sentimental creature, last night made it crystal clear. Hidden in the depths of the cupboards were tin boxes stuffed full of letters, cards, notes and little trinkets that had accompanied my life since I was 12.

My Mickey Mouse autograph book when I was 12 showed that I carried the same sense of humour then. The letters that Min had written to me, addressed to “Danesy”, back at a time when we had caught Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet, which still remains one of my favourite movies. The anonymous secret pal letters addressed to “Star”. A card bearing the serenity prayer, given to me at a time when I felt that my soul was lost and there would be no light waiting for me at the end of the tunnel. The dreadful poems that I had composed on the back of graph paper and which had kept me going. A booklet of the crazy photo stickers that we had taken during our two years in junior college. A letter sent from somewhere in Yellowstone, which I hadn’t been able to open and reread again. There was even a box of items that had once belonged to my father: his namecards, journalist passes, an ancient solar powered calculator.

Some letters had been bound neatly into little piles with red ribbon. Others were tossed carelessly into the boxes. And yet some were placed gently into a paper bag.

I don’t know what I am going to do with these little knick knacks when we shift over. I have half a mind to keep them though, just because I can’t bear to toss them into the trash bin. Maybe one day, my daughter or son will find these and be amused (or horrified, really) by the things that their mommy had once received and written. Is that my legacy to them, then, these little signposts that signal their mother’s youth? Would they be able to understand what kind of person I had been and how I became the sort of person that they see me as?

Perhaps when we shift over, I may even open them up again and share them with my husband, laughing at how young and innocent I was, and being thankful at how much I have today.

* This song accompanied me on my last day at 82GL. It’s also kept me going on many a night when all is silent and dark, and I am knee deep in data CDs that have no labels. It’s Rob Pattinson’s Never Think from the Twilight soundtrack and again, I marvel at how soulful his voice is. It’s imperfect and raw, and perfect when you are alone in the dark.

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