‘The one charm of the past is that it is the past’Oscar Wilde
Recently I’ve been looking through my old journal-style diaries from the past 20 years, and to be completely honest apart from the occasional important memory of note I’m absolutely mortified at the repetitive patterns of self-absorbed thoughts and feelings skimming the surface that seem to have carried me through life thus far.
Shockingly there is little textual content of any real consequence to remark on, or to recall with even a modicum of pride. Instead I’m like a broken record regurgitating a continuous litany of woes, producing page after page of lamenting in longhand, a multiplicity of myopic miseries droning on and on ad infinitum.
It’s embarrassing to read back over such singular insularity. I mean, I know they’re all my diaries, written exclusively for my eyes only, but even so… I always remember them as being my precious personal space for writing unhindered and unregulated whatever matter of vital importance was on my mind at that moment. Words to guard well for posterity, or so I thought.
So where are all those wise pronouncements and reflective insights I was expecting to see? More to the point where has all this constant wittering on about vacuous bullshit come from? Was I really always so momentously preoccupied with my hairstyle, my clothes, my weight above all else? Was I always so unhappy in my work, wherever I happened to be working at any given time?
I can’t help but cringe at the reality of reading back over such revealing records. It seems that overall on the whole my daily life was neither as good nor as bad as I remember it. And there is a recurring irrelevance to the regular topics I seemed to find so important to focus on time and time again, leaving my everyday normality registering nothing of note on any scale of social significance.
Distressingly it seems in retrospect I’m not actually the kind of deep-and-meaningful person I thought I was at my core, and have in fact in essentials proved myself to be just as shallow and narcissistic as much of the rest of humanity… how depressing! However I suppose there is no point in shedding tears of dismay over the disappointing internal world my historical diaries have divulged.
So the time has come for me to move on from all these embarrassing old wordy memories once and for all. I finally need to lay my past to rest and look ahead to the unwritten future, unencumbered by the rotting entrails of emotional baggage that follow me around like a fomenting feast of frustration and futility, eating away at me. Because ultimately what’s done is done, and thankfully the one charm of the past is that it is the past… 🙂