About a year ago, I cleaned out the back of my closet and sorted through old boxes. There was this thumb drive that was covered in fuzz and dust and I almost threw it away, but thought “I better make sure nothing is on it.” And then I put it on my desk and avoided it.
I assumed that it would be full of old forms and documents from my working in higher education. My last job wasn’t a healthy experience for me, and I wasn’t ready to bring back memories and sort through the files yet. I wanted a cup of tea, a sunny day, and a good feeling.
Today is snowy, I’m a little cranky, and too impatient to make tea. My desk is cluttered and I better see what’s on this stupid thing before I throw it away. And I was surprised. There was a folder of old tax returns, a folder of work documents (already labeled) and a folder that said “Fun fun fun”. I opened it, and there were two stories. One had a brief outline and some thoughts and the other was outlined and 8000 words written. I vaguely remembered these ideas and checked the date: 2011, my last year working in higher education. I left my job at the end of the spring semester in 2012 to pursue children’s book illustration.
I had forgotten that I wrote to help escape my job. To just find some comfort. I also found a letter I wrote “To Future Me” and in it 2011 Me wrote “This is really happening.” and outlined all the horrible things that were happening on a regular basis at my work with a note of “Because you’ll start to forget and doubt if you did the right thing.”
I carefully cleaned off the sweater fuzz from the drive and put it away. I’m going to finish those stories for my past self. But first, a cup of hot tea.