Thursday, April 12, 2012

Faded Memories

Moving is the number one motivator in purging old stuff that's been hidden for eons. As I started tossing things  away left and right, I stumbled across old boxes from my youth..these were cherished memories I'd sealed off and forgotten about...not necessarily because I wanted to. Being a romantic, I liked hoarding old letters, photographs, and such...maybe I knew one day I'd re-discover them and be reminded of all those emotions of a teenager. Frankly, it's going to help me out when I start penning my YA proposal. Some feelings you can never forget no matter how old you get...

Sifting through the handwritten letters made me take a stroll back in time...when crushes and puppy love was oh-so dramatic...it's funny how easily guys back then had no qualms about declaring their "love" without hesitation. I can tell you that guys have sure changed a lot since then, and I've even heard many of my single friends tell me how difficult it is to squeeze out an "I love you" from a guy—come to think of it—most of these guys seem like total commitment phobes. Lucky for me, I'm in a relationship and Mr. Right is seriously the best...so I don't have to worry about wading through the dating pool, but I cringe to think how it would be if I were single again!

Oh yeah...where was I? Well, after reading a few of those angst ridden letters, I could imagine how I felt at the moment when I'd read those intimate words. How it felt to be totally elated—or terribly heartbroken. It tugs at your heartstrings....and because I've lost a huge chunk of my memory from a car accident over a decade ago, it's almost like I'm reading someone else's memories. In a way, it makes me feel like I'm a voyeur of sorts, but it gives me back those raw feelings that I've lost. Those lingering emotions are still a part of us no matter what memories have been buried or erased.

Sometimes when I write my novels, it's almost like I'm filling the hole I've lost of my past. These hidden treasures help make things seem real. I'm glad I saved the letters because it's a beautiful reminder that I should cherish the relationships I have now. Whether it's with friends or a significant other, it's important to work on strengthening the bond so that it's not a faded memory in which you wished you'd tried to sustain.

See folks, there is a lesson in all this...

6 comments:

Wynter Daniels said...

Good post. One of the methods Donald Maass teaches in his workshops is to try to put yourself back in a situation where you personally experienced the emotion you're trying to write. That's exactly what you're doing when you read over your old letters.

Jax Cassidy said...

So true, Wynter! :)

Naima Simone said...

Awesome post, Jax! I have a scrapbook from high school, and every time I come across it, I put it to the side. I don't like going through it because I don't like to think of those time. But maybe I need to sit with my husband and thumb through it. Even the painful times--soaring heights of love, disappointments and crushing heart breaks--make us better writers. It's not just the great times but even the ones that tore out a piece of our hearts. When I think about my favorite books, I experience all of those emotions. So thanks for reminding me of that!

Jax Cassidy said...

I think that's a good idea to share with your husband. I tell my other half about these things because I don't want to hide them from him. These are pieces of my past that were special moments and it's exactly where I left them--in the past. That's why it's a great resource for us writers. We need to be reminded of those times to make the stories more convincing...

Dalton Diaz said...

The past makes us what we are today. I don't think I could survive it again, tho.

Callie Croix said...

I just recently made myself throw out a whole bunch of old letters and memorabilia I decided I didn't need anymore. Hard to do as a romantic, but I feel better having less clutter in the closets.