Since I have been sick all weekend, I have not done a good job in regard to even starting the schoolwork that I have to do this week. However, I have tried to begin the process of organizing and packing to move again. David and I both have so much stuff, I don’t know how we are going to fit everything into his apartment. My books alone could fill up his apartment. By the time you throw in his jeans and my skirts, we might not have enough room for the dining room table.
The process of organizing and packing always takes me much longer than it should because during that process, I am always rediscovering nearly forgotten trinkets and mementos. This time, I found my old journal from my senior year of high school and my freshman year at BYU. Wow. It was pretty hilarious to read. Note to eighteen year olds everywhere: If you think that something is the most dramatic that it could ever be or that an emotion is the most intense that you will ever possibly feel, you are probably wrong. Things will change.
I spoke in absolute terms about everything. Here is a sample from a day over ten years ago right after the boy that I liked at the time went into the MTC, and I was sure he had forgotten me for ever:
“My world is nothing, because I am nothing. My opinions and feelings aren’t important, because I am not important. I don’t even know why I bother writing these words, they themselves aren’t important. Because I have discovered that what hurts the mosts is that sometimes feelings yield you nothing. And if I didn’t care so much, I am sure that I could make it without them.”
You just can’t get any more dramatic than you can with those kind of pronouncements. But in fairness to myself, I was recovering from a year where I spent far too much time listening to Ella Fitzgerald, reading Ezra Pound, dissecting William Butler Yeats, and pontificating on the film “The English Patient”. It was a pretty profound year for me, and in retrospect was a pretty important year in my personal development because it was the year that I forced myself to think of more adjectives than the word “awesome”, because a good vocabulary was suddenly a very important component of my social interaction. And in hindsight, I can see that my emotional intensity did in fact yield me something, although it just took me several years to put it in actual perspective. Sometimes things not working out the way that you want them to manages to do that, unfortunately generally in significant retrospect.
But also what made me laugh is how my “happy list” that I wrote in my journal after my freshman year (things for me to think about to be happy when I was sad because of all the emotional intensity that I described before was too overwhelming) are still things that make me happy ten years later. I guess that it turns out that freshman year of college was pretty formative:
A Happy List for Leslie (things I have learned to appreciate):
1. Jil Sander dresses (even just the idea of them)
2. Speaking Swahili and fantasizing about Africa
3. Red Rock Canyons (especially when covered with snow)
4. Old School Jazz singers – Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald
5. Last minute camping trips
6. Jumping on the beds
7. Painting my toes strange colors
8. Getting funky with George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic
9. Watching Balanchine Ballerinas
10. Doing what you feel and not what you think