Recently I graduated from college for the second time. The first time I graduated I turned my unused third bedroom into an office. It was wonderful, but when I returned to college the time for an “office” was gone and I spent most of my “free” time in labs and making electronics work. Thus, my office became a junk room. Today I felt the need to clean it out. The holiday before the start of school will be here soon, the last hurrah for yard sales and I want to get in on the resale of my items.
People tend to talk about cleaning as a purging. They speak as though they are getting rid of a part of them that had been bogging them down. To me, however, this experience has felt like remembering someone else. Someone who I really loved, but didn’t have much time to keep up with recently was in that room and I can’t believe I nearly forgot all about her. I used to be a fairly good artist. I used to write fiction. Piles of old work is in that office and now it has a proper place again.
I felt like I was looking at myself. A young woman, a manager in a large company who was still reeling from a degree in Literature was staring right into me. Me, a woman who is now a biomedical technician and all too happy to be done with school. I found myself again in old works that aren’t that bad, really. Old things that can be polished with my new world view and my more technical edge are sitting on a desk that probably needs replaced in the near future.
I cosplay now too, so that would easily have a place in this office with Old Me. I went through bookshelves and felt like I’d found myself again. A large piece of me that I didn’t have time to visit in that office. While I did get rid of a lot of old books, I sat aside things that I will mail to friends and family, I took down old pictures and cards to put in my memory box, I’m not giving her up again. Old Me and Me are one person again, finally.
What I was looking for, it turned out, was just me.