My husband and baby are out of town for the weekend. My kids are gone for the day. My plan: cleaning. The other mothers I've talked with about my sad plans for a long weekend agree there's nothing better than cleaning uninterrupted followed by spending a few hours hanging out in a sparkling clean house.
I decided to clean up my office. I even went so far as to clean out files in the double wide, two drawer credenza in my office so I could find room for all of the papers on top of it and on my desk.
I found a file of children's stories I forgot I wrote before my daughter was born. Some were typed on a typewriter, some printed on my first dot-matrix printer. I had copies of letters I sent to publishers and the original rejection letters. In the file were several stamped envelopes (29 cent stamps!) from where I planned to send out more copies. I gave up on getting published and stopped writing immediately after being rejected. Most of the stories I don't remember writing. One is a draft with red inked all over it. I am hesitant to read them. I think it is within the realm of possibility that they really suck. It is also possible they are as good as anything I've written, which may well mean that my writing still sucks. I will read them later. Maybe I can make them really good....who knows.
The next folder I found was one labelled "Graduate School." I remember taking the GRE, but I apparently also took the GMAT, the test to get into business school. I almost applied for an MBA and got letters of recommendation, never sent in, from two of my former bosses. They were in sealed envelopes, with their signatures across the seal. I opened them and read them - after all, they were from well over a decade ago all sealed up in a file drawer. The good news is they thought I was awesome and full of potential. Yeah me. Whatever. I shredded them along with the rejection letters from publishers.
All of my hopes and dreams of years past I found in the back of the bottom drawer of my file cabinet. I seem to be going through life dreaming of paths to take me from the one I'm on, but never taking more than a couple of steps down the road. Don't get me wrong, I have had a wonderful career of 20 years and reached the top of my profession before I was 40. I don't in any way feel like a loser - I am proud of my accomplishments. I just didn't realize what a dreamer I was until I looked in these files.
I guess it's good to dream a little dream, but maybe it's time to start walking all the way down the path, one step at a time. It is time be brave and read the lost stories....