I keep my old binder of poems in the bottom drawer of my art supply stand; this morning I went to pull it out and noticed another binder beneath it under some old drawings waiting for frames. I don’t know how I never saw it until today but I think it’s a binder of my stuff from a year or so after I graduated high school. It’s so strange , the things you forget over time. I don’t remember a lot of the poems I skim-read. One is about a guy that sounded like I was stalking. When did I stalk a guy? There was even a little crappy pen sketch of a dude I have no recollection of ever crushing on.
So I’m going through this binder and there’s all sorts of things in there that I don’t remember! I remember the binder itself because it’s the one I used for school work and I taped a bunch of magazine cut outs to it during classes. I was such a loser– I thought I was a loser anyway. Going through the binder made me sad. I was very pained as a teen, I was silent and angry; this whole poetry project thing has already made a few revelations for me. Finding this second forgotten binder is just one example.
The generation that followed mine and all those afterward have so many more outlets than any generation before them. I’m flipping through this binder and it’s like Tumblr on paper only there’s no one to tell me it’s original or good or to tell me that what I’ve expressed they understand. I wonder now what it’s like to be a teen with all the avenues to publicize your struggles. All teens have struggles, believe it or not, they all have stress to contend with and it’s so easy for adults to act like these are nothing because they can’t possibly compare to the struggles of an adult when that’s simply not true. All stress eats at us from the inside no matter the form of parasite that stress presents itself in or the age of the subject it’s leeched onto.
I can’t tell if I’m jealous of how many different ways younger people can express themselves today or upset with myself for not trying harder to be heard. There’s this 16 year-old girl I read about that paints on dried leaves. She’s truly amazing and her work is fantastic from what I’ve seen. If not for sites like WordPress, Tumblr and Instagram how many people would go unrecognized? How many have gone unrecognized because social networking and media wasn’t there to help them get shared until they were “discovered?” I’m not saying I’ve ever done anything that would have been worth even a public thanks for trying award but I saw some things in those pages today that maybe, with just a little approval from someone other than my mother, I might have felt encouraged enough to express more.
Either way, I’m excited about reaching that part of my poetry project- that second binder. I can’t wait to see what I’ve forgotten! I didn’t go too deep into it. I mainly flipped through some pages and admired some of the things I painted, taped and slapped together scrapbook-style. I felt enough of the nostalgia doing just that, I don’t want to get depressed with my age becoming harder to ignore with each new discovery made in that binder.