Thursday, June 19, 2008

Looking Back at Me

I've kept every letter I've ever received since I was ten years old. I've been going through them recently, putting aside ones for people I'm still in touch with, so I can return them to the senders. It should be amusing for them to read letters they wrote to me ten, twenty years ago. I've also tracked down some of these people from my past and am intrigued and mostly pleased to see how their lives have turned out.

As I'm going through these old letters and finding people from my past, I'm piecing together a life that sometimes seems unfamiliar to me.

People like to say you shouldn't look back; you should leave the past behind. I disagree. I've learned a lot about me from reading these old letters - some of it good, some of it embarrassing. The good, the bad, and the ugly. It's interesting to see the difference between who you think you are and who others think you are. Maybe my kids will read these letters some day to see who their mother was in the eyes of others.

We can create the person we want to be in our imaginations, but our own memories can deceive us. When we see ourselves in the ways we've influenced or touched the people in our lives, then that's more likely to be the person we really are.


Anonymous said...

I thought I was the only person to keep all their mail...........?! Poses the question....Does EVERYONE do it but noone admit it?! I like to look back for many reasons.......and think it the main its good for you. I have also considered how people have seen my life and indeed the way I have dealt with it from their perspective through the ages BUT also enjoy considering how much THEY have changed and wonder in fact if they know they have or whether they are oblivious! If you do as you say and "return to sender" I am sure many people will be amazed at how they have been "moulded" over the years and wonder how many now have very different views and opinions to those originally documented several years previous....

Anonymous said...

Don't laugh but this Facebook thing has helped me get in touch with long lost friends. Or at least those who don't hate or harbor such ill-will towards me that they either find me or I find them. Some, I've come to terms with, others I chose not to outwardly reach out to them although I know they're on Facebook.

Yes, Shin, I too keep my letters. I treasure those handwritten letters like gold. In the day an age of emails. Its just not the same digging up 10 year old emails and reading those. That's just silly.

Skylar's Mom

Jeannie Joe said...

Hey Shin!

I don't know how this Blog thing works so I'm not sure what the chances are of you getting this comment are, but I just found your blog last night and sent you an email this morning.

I can't believe you still have my letters! I have yours too! They are one of the few things I have kept fromy my childhood. I can't believe I found you! I am in L.A. now. I'll email you my address. I hope you are well enough to right back. I think it's weird that I thought about trying to find you the day after your birthday. I hope that we can stay in touch! Some of those are 30 years old now! WOW! Take care Shin!