I don’t have much from my past. I had three life changing moments where I was left with only a box of things, and everything else had to be donated, trashed or sold, so only the few things that meant a great deal to me managed to make it to my home now.
But I’ve always thought those things, those precious memoires you choose to keep even when the world is collapsing down around you, those are what define you. They are what show what really matters to you.
Of all the “things” that survived the upheaval in my life, being homeless, a failed marriage, moving to four different states, and crossing thousands of miles of land with just a little suitcase to my name, the only thing that truly survived all of that was my writing.
I have the paper I stole from school, stapled together, and wrote in bright orange marker about a nymph in a forest. I have the poems I typed up on an old typewriter, stapled together, and marked with “1cent” up in the corner. I have the first school assignment that asked for a story about a picture. Some of these are 20+ years old, and I have them all.
In fact, over the last 30 years of writing I have lost only one thing (that I know of). Half of the very first novel I ever completed. Called “Deaths Gate”, it was about a girl who was unable to ever get close to anyone because Death marked her as his bride and would kill anyone who tried to claim her as his.
The novel took five years to put together. I started it in my Junior year of high school, and continued on through the first few years of my marriage. We moved around a lot. Had children. Got our first PC. Had to put all the hand written notes into the PC for the first time.
It took five years of a sentence here and there to get through the 200 page manuscript. It had elves, hunters, battles, nymphs, magic, and one lost young woman who simply wanted to claim her life as her own. It was terrible. Poorly written, and full of Mary Sue’s. But I finished it.
Then my computer crashed and took it with it. All of my hard work just gone. Lost. Unrecoverable.
I did find half of it in a drawer somewhere, the last half, and I still have it. No one else will ever read it, but it will follow me to every home I move to from here on out.
When I took some college classes I tried figuring out “what do you want to be when you grow up?” for the first time since my divorce and having my life in my own hands. I looked back n those leftover pieces and started to think about what was important. What made me “ME”.
What do you have as leftover pieces?