I was going through an old trunk filled with photographs and found an envelope from a very dear ex. He was the Love of my LIFE (I was in my 20s and the teenage exuberance was still very present) A few years after we'd broken up he mailed me copies of family photos and some love letters I'd written. Copies. Despite the fact that he'd been the one to end things, he kept the originals.
I started to read them last night and was embarrassed. Partly because of the content, there was so much love on those pages it was hard to read. Partly because I felt like a voyeur, so much passion and a window into my soul. Yes, I wrote that but it's such a younger version of me that it felt like I was intruding on someone else's private correspondence.
But what really embarrassed me was the language and structure of the letters. Wow. The internal editor really never shuts up. Instead of appreciating the honesty of emotion, I was critiquing the word choices. So flowery and unimaginative. No wonder I never got a book contract back then.
The most important thing about those letters truly is the feeling I had when writing them. I couldn't hold all that emotion inside. I didn't want to jump on a couch but I knew if I tried to contain it I would explode. So I used the tool with which I was most comfortable and wrote.
Words, even cliched ones that have been overused, are evocative, powerful and can take one back in time.
I'm glad I found those letters. I'm going to burn them because they really were private and written only for us. We've both evolved since then, changed and matured. But it was nice to take a quick glimpse at the past me who believed LOVE was everything. She's still in here. Perhaps it's time to invite her out for a glass of wine and see what happens.