Skeletons in the closet, I have not. A drawer full of papers, I have. Papers full of thoughts, emotions, words, ideas.
A story of sorts. Jonathan Adler mini notebooks filled with dictionary definitions and middle of the night brilliance sit atop full-sized Mead’s with smudged pages and chicken scratchings.
All tucked away in a drawer. The one above my file cabinet with medical information, tax forms, and other important papers. As important as those papers are, the ones sitting in the drawer above mean much more.
They represent years of work. Unpaid work. Long days and late nights of research. Headaches and heartaches. Happiness and hope.
There was a time when I opened and closed the drawer on a daily basis. When papers were shuffled in and out on the regular. That was then.
Then. When I was young. My twenties just beginning. A dreamer. Fresh out of college, ready to conquer the world.
Then. The world came knocking. It kinda knocked me down. Told me to move on from my dream.
Sound advice was sought. I cast my net into vast networks of professionals. I pushed myself to continue studying the craft that I had no idea I wanted to cultivate until that one night in June of 2008 when a voice entered my head and refused to leave.
Similar to skeletons in the closet, not many people know of this drawer or the contents of it. I eluded to it on here one time.
I remember writing that post. Scared that people would think I failed. Worried that someone would tell me I was crazy. Afraid I’d wind up a “never has been” (Mighty Ducks reference).
Now. The world is knocking. It knocks me down. It tells me to do something real.
Now. When I am old. My late twenties almost over. Fresh out of dreams, ready to settle down.
The years in between “then” and “now” have been filled with wondering. Wondering if I was silly for doing what I did. Wondering if I should take the next step. Wondering if I missed my chance. Wondering if I should officially close the book on that part of my life.
Sometimes I think, “it’s time to try again.” It’s time to get real about it. To send out that voice and see who responds.
I get up the nerve to face my desk. Left hand outstretched, I hesitate before pulling open the drawer above my file cabinet. Everything looks the same. The papers are stacked neatly out of order. Jonathan Adler mini notebooks look bright and colorful. The full-sized Mead’s lay untouched. I let my fingers run across the smooth notebooks, feel the raised bumps on the papers where my pen pushed hard and fast with thoughts I was sure I would lose were they not jotted down immediately. I eye my thumb drive tucked in the corner. It blends into the drawer’s black lining. For a moment, I just stare at it. Willing it to come to life. Knowing full-well what will happen when I plug it into my laptop. The image of the first page burned into my memory. It’s then that I hear her voice. Telling me to talk to her. Pleading with me to listen to her. Wishing me to finish what I started. Asking me to smooth things over for her. Gently, my heart-breaking, I close the drawer. It takes a minute before I can move on. Sad that I ignored her again, I turn my back on her and walk away. Begging her to see it from my perspective. Worried I will never know what her voice will say to the world.
Sometimes I think, “it’s time to empty out the drawer.” It’s time to get real about it. To send those papers to a storage box.
But it’s never as simple as that. It’s not just a drawer. They aren’t just any old papers.
They are my voice. Her voice. Our voice.
I lost my voice. And I’m trying ever so hard to get it back with various remedies.
For now, it’s stuck in a drawer I’m too scared to open, but even more scared to empty.
What would you do?