Emotions of the past life
On Thursday, I am going to be at the US Embassy in Warsaw to renew my passport. Yesterday evening, I started to put all the necessary documents together. I knew where everything was, so I thought it will only take me a couple of minutes. I keep my legal documents from my previous life in a couple of boxes — not organized, but at least in the same place. With those boxes, there are several others with my photos, letters, postcards, notes, undeveloped film rolls, notebooks filled with my attempt at writing from my life in the USA, and some other knickknacks. Not that much really for the 20 years I spent there….
But enough to bring an emotional crisis.
I got my needed documents quickly and decided to take a look at those other boxes. I promised myself many times that one day I will check it all and organize or destroy what is there, so yesterday I thought — “why not now?”. My resolve lasted only 5 minutes. It was enough for me to see a couple of photos from 1994, a letter from about the same time from a friend who died 3 years ago, a badge from one of my previous jobs, a ticket stub from 2002 (Ani DiFranco unplugged at Carnegie Hall). The wave of emotions went over me so quickly and thoroughly that I had to put everything back in the box and just lay down for a while. I am not sure if those emotions were positive or negative — I was afraid to explore them and even let them linger in my mind. I just wanted to forget that it had even just happened. I still needed to do something about the actual boxes, so I forced myself to get up, close them and move them away where I won’t see them and hopefully won’t think about them. Then I spend the evening just watching stupid videos, trying very hard not to let those emotions take over my well-being.
This morning I went for a long walk just to get myself tired. I feel a little better now; I think I was able to avoid the serious crisis. But it also seems obvious to me that I am not ready to face my past. And not even face it — just looking at it is too much for me. Maybe one day, but not for a long time. A warning sign for me that there are things from my past that remain somewhere in the back of my mind. I don’t want them to be coming to the surface now. I am not strong enough. Yet.