This weekend I went down a rabbit hole, searching for an old password to a site I hadn’t frequented since before 2010. I don’t have access to the email account that I used when signing up so it was imperative that I find the password saved somewhere. I get pretty obsessive about things especially when I am faced with challenge so I was sucked into the quest of retrieving this password and gaining access to this site.
To do this, I ended up unearthing an old laptop that I used before 2008 when I got a new laptop, and brought it upstairs and fired it up. Now I’ve done a pretty good job over the years of backing up my old stuff and I do have all the documents and stuff on that laptop elsewhere but I just have to say, opening up my old Windows XP laptop and seeing all my stuff as it was in 2007 before my daughter was born, before my life went through another decade of strife and change, well it was impactful. I was reeling from the nostalgia. I found all my old web development stuff, that I haven’t looked at in ten years. All my old graphic design stuff. The coding and images for all the personal websites I’ve ever had. All my writing… the poems, fanfiction, drabbles, work logs, SOPs, so much. It made me remember who I was then. I reflected on that person and how different I am now. It was as if I was meeting myself, myself from ten years ago, today. I was a different person then, and so I was able to see myself in the way I was. It was like I had time traveled from ten years ago and was having a conversation with myself.
It was.. surreal in many ways. It grounded me in a way I haven’t felt in a while, it was such a strong reminder of my self and my journey. And I needed it. I think it’s normal for one to flounder every now and then. Wonder what we are doing, and why. I’m really struggling this year — with my mental health, with my job, with my life — and I needed a reminder of myself. Me from ten years ago had problems too, but I feel like I was more solid in my sense of self at that point in my life than I have been since my daughter was born, since my marriage dissolved, since I moved back to Georgia, since I went to grad school, since I moved to Athens, since several relationships full of poor choices stemming from bad decisions and desperate mindsets.
In other words, I really needed to find that snapshot of myself and drink it all in like I was a person having walked through a desert. Today I’ve felt different. I needed to meet myself again.