i randomly stuff photos into books and boxes and drawers which means i randomly find old photos in books and boxes and drawers. last night i found a photo of my mother and me, both smiling, which means we had been drinking, because mom and i only smile together when we’re buzzed. i don’t remember why the photo was taken. i don’t know who took it. but we’re smiling, the date on the photo is 2006, and my hair looks fabulous. i put the photo back in the drawer to find again a few years from now. last month i unexpectedly found a framed photo of the ex-wife and i looking young and happy, which means it must have been taken at least ten years ago. i gave the photo of the ex-wife and i to a friend for safe-keeping because i didn’t want to risk stuffing it back in the box to startle me another day and i couldn’t toss it. i’m hoping one day that photo feels good to see rather than sad.
some people snap photos at every occasion. i do not. i rarely initiate photo-taking opportunities. therefore, i have photos with friends who are prone to take photos and none with friends like myself who never think to take a snapshot. it is a relief not to run into photos of friends who are gone with whom i never took photos. i’m not particularly nostalgic…although….
i’ve reached that stage in life that exclaims at the sight of an old photo,”i can’t believe how young i was.” i still feel 27 on the inside. i’m not and never will be again. i wonder if at 60 i will feel like i’m 40…or will i still feel 27? 27 was the age my love addiction escalated. (and escalated again at 33, again at 35, and again at 37, by the way.) 27 was the age when i was bored and restless and needed a new challenge and kept burning every book i wrote and traveled the world to escape boredom and restlessness and to seek passionate adventures but settled for escalating addictions.
i never learned how to quietly approach boredom or restlessness because i always had multiple addictions to occupy my body and mind if boredom began to creep in the side door. i’m learning how to embrace boredom when it arises now because i don’t have anything else to fill my body or mind. i can’t yet sit still in the restlessness, but i can sit and create a collage or write a letter or sing as loudly as my voice will carry.
if i could travel back in time and begin a do-over of my life, i’d start fresh at 27. i’d write more books (even if i burned them all) and travel the world again and skip almost every lover. i’d skip half of my friends, too, but i’d keep the other half closer and pay more attention and lavish them with more appreciation. in present time, i’m starting the next book, planning my next several trips, and keeping the few best friends close, paying attention, and lavishing them with appreciation.