I have been trying to organize the boxes in our spare room, because the clutter of boxes, months after we have moved in, is really starting to drive me crazy. However, organization projects like these are very time consuming for me. I spend too much time going through the boxes of old essays, tests, school assignments, and various writing projects that I feel the need to save. However, what take up the most time for me, because I give them such a detailed reading, are my stacks and stacks of old, unsent letters to people. When I was in high school and in college I frequently would stay up late in the evenings writing letters to people that I knew I would never send. It was my way of communicating what I knew I could never actually say. Maybe in the back of my mind too, I had this idea that one day someone would really care to know what I had been thinking and feeling during those awkward years. Perhaps, I thought, I would be a famous writer and literary critics, scholars and fans would pour over my letters trying to understand my formative years and the emotions that shaped my life. It was a very naive notion. Certainly, no one is interested in the formative years of a law librarian.
Nonetheless, even though I only read the letters every 3-5 years, when I get the craving to clean and organize, I am happy that I have been so insistent on saving them. Because I am so intent on practicality these days, it is nice to be reminded of a time when feeling came first and idealism was the order of the day. Sometimes the total melodrama that I inflicted upon myself is completely grating, but endearing as well. When I am old and gray, I will know that I felt things deeply.