Personal Archaeology


I’m on leave today and spent a greater part of my afternoon scanning letters.

The imbalance is starting to become evident. He’s much better at keeping things in one place. I have quite a lot of his letters missing because of the haphazard storage method of my youth. I just found one in a closet I haven’t opened in years.

Rather than sort and scan, I decided that scanning and sorting by date cuts one step out of the process. I only have a quarter of the original pile left and these are the longer letters of our early to mid teens.

I read a few, and gave it up as well. The letters from the primary school are mostly amusing when you read it 19 years later. My letters from secondary school contain a lot of things I have forgotten and don’t really want to remember. Same reason I have diaries lying around that I used to confess to regularly but don’t want to revisit either.

I used to be pretty open about my life with close friends, and I can be really uncensored in my private journals. But lately, I haven’t talked to my friends and I haven’t talked to me.

The kid in my letters have always been darn certain she’ll become a writer one day. The writer sits here and wonders,”Where to from here?”

She is not writing any long, leisurely letters; the art died a long time ago. She hardly answer emails or write to people who would indulge her in her introspection. She doesn’t write about anything important to her, not even when nobody is looking.

She is a writer with nothing to say, which should make some people happy, because to them, her function is to convey what they are unable to express themselves. The fact that she may have an opinion is not relevant.

But I digress.

I enjoy looking at my old letters. Looking at how my writing changed over the course of 20 years before settling into the style I still use now. I enjoy rediscovering postcards, greeting cards and letters from old friends. I’d toss them out but there is a part of me that strongly believes in remembering who you used to be. I’m not one of those people who throw out old diaries because it’s embarrassing, or delete old blog entries. Just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t in a private archive somewhere.

Who am I right now? I’m sure everyone will have their own version of who I am and how I fit into their picture. Just don’t ask me. I have no answer.

Author: Georgette Tan

writer . poet . introvert . NSFW hand letterer . equatorial eclectic

3 Comments on “Personal Archaeology

  1. Some time back I got some notes-passed-in-class from Soph, who kept loads. When I read them I wondered how the hell I managed to learn anything in school when I was so busy yakking about band and hating certain teachers and having personal vendettas with other girls… but it was great fun, in a cringe-worthy way :)

    When people ask me who I am, I hide behind a big answer.

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