Monday, April 02, 2007

Old papers

Taking a break from staring at my lappie screen, i took a nice long stretch against the back rest of my study chair.

And i glanced up at my 3 shelved cupboard that still houses all the school work done in my past academic years, mostly from my junior college days, save for one biology file from my secondary 4 syllabus. Coloured files in yellow, black, blue and red, grey, papers chucked in between them in some order of subjects, thick textbooks that were seldom referred to but were there to give a sense of reassurance that information was within easy reach.

All of them speak silently and daily, reminding me (only when i take the time to look at them) of all the toil, tears (<-- seriously) and frustrations of the old, the failures and triumphs.

And i realize that i may very well bring all of them with me till... We'll never really know. Perhaps for as long as i can keep them.

It's too difficult to throw them all away, for sentimental reasons. Though I can't make sense out of whatever i read in them anymore (esp. chemistry) but somehow, these chunks and stacks of papers with my own handwriting scrawled all over in attempts to solve sums and problems, to write logical essays without smoking through them, every dot and scribble - they were a part of my thoughts, and of me, back then.

Mundane as they look sitting high up there above my head as i type my essays to be handed in to tutors from university, these representatives are from one of the hardest periods in my life, emotionally and mentally, will always bring back the nostalgia no matter where i am in life.

With each passing year, i grow more attached to these physical "relics", serving as triggers and cues for me to be able to recollect the memories of those days past.

Why is it that i refuse to let go of the memories of hard times and the things that transport me back to it? Is that a seeming rule that applies to people in general, i wonder.

I guess hard times were when you saw yourself put to the test, to see what you were made of, to show yourself and unknowingly others as well, who you were when situations become pressing and hard to bear. It's during those times when you see yourself stumble through weaknesses, grappling for help or just sticking it through, even growing and discovering new strengths and revelations.

You get to see who among you are the people you can or cannot depend on, and sometimes our search leads us to become jaded, indifferent or even more hopeful. Quite obviously, tough times are never a walk in the park and when we eventually emerge from the shadows, we step out with battle wounds that leave a deep impression, and scars to remind us of the tale, to either tell of or hide it. We come out of it knowing that something profound happened inside of us.

Which is probably why we never, or find it hard to forget tough times. They're somewhat useful bittersweet tools, becoming fuel for anger that continues to burn inside, times we laugh or grimace over on hindsight, the experiences that we look back upon to see how far we've come in our personal growth, the basis from where we glean some of our most intimate lessons from.


lakeside girl said...

Reading this seems to be like looking into a textual mirror of some sorts. I have them too, the books and files - they are still up there, above me on that crowded cabinet.

Academic memories, i like to call them.

Since i don't need extra space for now, they shall inhabit my bedroom with me.

joline said...

lakeside girl:

Hey, i'm glad to know of someone else who does the same thing too. *grin* To our academic memories~!

Not sure about you gal, but I wouldn't know what to do if i was forced to throw them away for whatever reason.

joline said...

lakeside girl:

And thanks Mari for always popping by to leave your prints here! It can get quiet sometimes and it's nice to hear some input from friends. :-)

Anonymous said...

ello!! being really busy at work, cant reply to ur msn msg last time. paiseh. as u notice, i only login at lunch and log out after lunch....bah.u prob dun wanna know. just wanna tell u that hey! i use my old notes as rought paper to learn my japanese. i dun care abt those toopid useless notes tat nv teaches me how to live life anyway

joline said...


no problem girl. my apologies too, sometimes i'm away doing something and by the time i come back to msn, you've logged off. =P

haha, well you have a point, those notes are useless now. Oh well.