Warning: Personal

A general contemplative offloading – my apologies.

Sometimes I have moments of weakness where I question our consential self-cleansing. Now is one of those times, and it’s time to capture to it as opposed to the routinal disregarding.

One deep breath and a harsh sip of bitter coffee and my mind is numb enough to start. I open the folder labelled ‘Social/Emotional’ some four years ago, one of the many artefacts in the part of my bedroom where I stash things I’m often discouraged from tidying from their contents. Sure enough, remnant after remnant of old relationships and lost memories have filled its polypockets. I take each out – scrapbook pages, receipts of days out, train tickets – and tear them up with conviction, breath, tear them up. This is good for me, stops me from dwelling on things I can no longer change. Two thirds in, however, and I grind to a halt. I’ve started reading old keepsakes instead of scrunching them up, and with that, the memories return. The moments of being in a book long gone.

Once I’ve read enough of them it becomes impossible to rip them up, even if I hate a substantial bit of the memories they give me because I know how that long gone book ended. Weird little things, postcards, doodles, retain a reverberance of the hope I still had in the moment I first held it, blind to how it vanished.

I’ve been told many times that clean breaks are important. Break up, clean up, move on. Lingering onto memories, onto people, is a sign of weakness. Still thinking of people you miss could pre-empt stalking… and suchlike. I suppose they are. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be in quite the extent of self-questioning I am in writing this.

I used to think it was as clear as this: I’ve made myself a workaholic by working too much. Now I’m very aware of how I destroy some fragments of myself, the so-say weaknesses that have been identified along the way, the eliminate the other things I can think about that would stop me working. Dwelling is part of stillness, part of silence, and that is not work – it’s not success.

In some other ways, clean breaking from love lost frees you to love again, in some capacity. This I understand. Learning from mistakes is not the same as subconsciously cloning your old desires in new clothes; the former is more in my grasp now I’ve been letting go of the latter. Though I feel, in the detached, obsessive routine of tearing up the older keepsakes, that I’ve dangerously traversed the space between moving on and burying.

There’s no conclusion to this writing. There’s no definite standpoint. There’s simply the emptying of my mind in the continual unknotting of confusion, of understanding my growing workaholic, emotionally passive tendencies, and the hope that someone else in similar confusion may be able to clear their mind in seeing someone else’s tangles.


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