I don’t enjoy remembering things that I shouldn’t be reminiscing on, that I should have left behind.
But, then again, who does?
It is especially painful to try to wring out the old events and old emotions of the past, so if it so agonizing, why do I bring this subject up?
Two words: general education.
One of the GEs I am required to take as a college student is a class called Expository Writing. Sad to say, despite my love of English literature and expressive writing, this is NOT one of my favorite classes. My professor, an older woman with a monotonous voice, blabs on and on for an hour and 15 minutes about topics I learned my senior year in AP Lit & Comp and, in all honesty, a lot of things she says flow into one ear and out the other. Since this is an English class, it’s a given that there will be a lot of writing (hence, the name of the course) and my teacher informed us that we would write a series of essays throughout the semester.
Well isn’t that something new?
I scoffed at this. Obviously, we would be writing a multitude of works over the next few months and I thought to myself, “Damn, this is going to be nothing.” I seriously believed that, at this point, I would be able to float through the class with the knowledge that I already had and that nothing could possibly interest me, but I was taken by surprise when my professor announced the topic of the first essay: an autobiographical narrative.
So basically, we had to address the nature of an individual (although I’d rather think of it as human nature in general), present a situation from our lives that related to the topic, and tie it altogether into a philosophical standpoint about the meaning of life.
An autobiographical narrative. A life lesson.
There’s something about having to write about yourself for a grade that sounds unpleasant. For one, you can’t rant endlessly about your whole life. Two, you can’t be as vulgar as you please. Not that there’s a lot of dirty words here. And three, you have to follow a certain structure in trying to complete your essay, so there’s a lot of limitations there.
But I don’t think I had too many problems with those hurdles.
I think my main reason for struggling with this assignment was the fact that I knew EXACTLY what I wanted to write about, which is contradictory because, why would I have trouble writing about a subject that I know so well? That just sounds bizarre. But if you’ve read the rest of my blog, you’d know why. The first thing that popped into my head was my rollercoaster of a relationship from the past 2 years and how much I’ve grown from it all. In my essay, I wrote about how it is not in the nature of humans to forget and how we tend to hold on to the past, whether we show it or not. Ironically enough, I COULD NOT REMEMBER MY STORY. My first draft was due on Thursday morning, and I burdened myself by starting it on Tuesday night because initially, it didn’t seem like a hard task. But in order for me to fully grasp the history and meaning and to thoroughly do it justice, I had a friend take notes as I spoke while I played Elvis Presley and Taylor Swift songs and looked back on old pictures, text messages, and diary entries. It was only then that I was able to get on track with myself. But I HATED remembering; I cringed when I saw the messages and wondered to myself, “What the hell was I doing?” I was disgusted by the way we communicated, by the way I acted, by the way I spent my nights going insane, and it was just uncomfortable trying to revisit all the things I tried to put past me. I can’t emphasize how much tension was running through my body as I shoved memories back into my brain.
But something funny happened.
As I started on the last couple of paragraphs of my essay, I started to feel more relieved. It was almost over, I was almost done writing about all the pain and hurt and awkwardness and it was the most exhilarating feeling ever. Because at this point, I was talking about becoming stronger and being able to free yourself from the trials of life and it was so wonderful. I made a reference to birds in my writing, and here I felt like a bird taking flight. When I printed my paper in my friend’s room, I felt proud of how I condensed my emotions into a 4 & 1/2-page paper. And after having a few classmates peer-edit in class, turning in my draft was one of the most lifting feelings.
So “recollecting” is funny.
I talk about forgetting and how I don’t ever want to think about this relationship and how I never want to go through something like this but I am thankful for the occasions when I turn around and look at my life and how it was before. When I reestablish the strain and the stress, I gain another opportunity to release those feelings and I feel more fresh and alive than I did a few days, hours, minutes, seconds ago.
And that’s why I’m writing this blog.
And that’s why I wrote those other blogs.
And that’s why I’ll continue these blogs.