The spell has lifted. I’m jumpy again, careening off the walls like a manic-depressive.
I peruse old letters at random for snapshots of forgotten lives. Based on the hundreds of mail I saved, I can tell that I so valued communication in my twenties and thirties. I did not want to leave behind my friends when I left college and graduate school.
In writing, I had so much to prove to them and to myself. I shudder at my late-teenself. I was racist, homophobic, and crass – quite the embarrassing asshole, but foolish to think I have shed all those base traits after twenty years.
I reconcile my past with my present. I try to forgive my former selves. We were all flailing and clueless. I still am.
I blustered then to hide insecurity. I roar now to hide loneliness. I light up to hide darkness. I hope to deal more maturely and compassionately with my damaged goods.
Through the years of letters, my love for shared adventure still shines. Friends enjoyed receiving news and kindly responded. Many of us struggled transitioning to the working world. We took temp jobs. We could not decide which coast or country to call home. We did not know who we were.
Since my twenties, my parameter space has narrowed. I no longer want to live everywhere or do anything. I like California and the west coast. I enjoy technical fields. I still flail some with uncertainty but it is more constrained, like whether to order the dark or semi-sweet chocolate. Vanilla is for someone else.