I have not wanted to look at old photos of the person who left me after 24 years. He, of course, didn’t take a single one of those old photo albums, even though they hold decades of his life experiences. That’s over now and he’s in his next chapter as a husband and father.
That chapter is also over for me. Yet almost ten years later, those boxes sit in a closet, covered with the dust of my youthful days.
With the holidays coming anew there is a nagging feeling in my heart and mind. I don’t think I have totally moved on the way he has. It seems like I have, but after a decade perhaps it’s time to look and see what’s actually in those taped-up boxes.
I should open the boxes marked, “Pictures you don’t want to look at.” My old assistant wrote that on the boxes when he saw how upset I got at the prospect of peeking at any one of these albums.
Maybe it’s up in my closet. Or in the office on a shelf? I think it’s a rectangular, white box. I think it’s written with a black sharpie. In that box are old photo albums, going back, so far back, into my life. We were completely different people then. Very different from what we became after a quarter of a century together, which is complete strangers.
Do I want to open that old box? Live through moments neither one of us can remember? It meant so much back then for me to put those photos in albums. To mark the date and underneath the photo, where we were. What country, performance, relative’s birthday party it was. Those people, a lot of them his relatives are surely no longer with us. What do I do with their legacy?
Should I really break the seal? Open the Ark like in “Raiders” to let the demons pour out? To stare at the long-dead or now aged realizing my own mortality? I’m feeling a profound shift. This is not merely a put-off task. It is a life decision to be made. It’s a “Do I look back or keep looking forward” moment.
What if I put the box in the garbage dumpster and never think about opening it again? Let the demons rot in the landfill! Isn’t that what the Ex symbolically did by walking out of our lives?
Cut those heartstrings that still reside in that box. There is liberation in lifting and heaving. In the metal slam of the dumpster’s lid. To walk away from that white box of “Photos You Do Not Want To Look At.” Like in an Angelina Jolie movie, where she blows up a building and strides confidently through the smoke smiling slyly. Thigh-high boots and a feathered vest and a surety of self.
Now that’s true freedom. Do you have an old box of memories? What are you going to do with it? Perhaps the best thing is to make new memories and continue on with life.
We all go through major life transitions when relationships end… Through this website, I will share my thoughts as I walk the path of “New-Self” discovery. It doesn’t matter which side of 50 you are on. The real question is, Are you ready to live life? To forge a Path of Your Own Making (For a change!)? Then stop dwelling over the What-Might-Have-Beens and join me. Share your thoughts here, comment on mine, and let’s do this together!