TASK #12: TEAR IT UP
“A clear conscience is often the sign of a bad memory”. Unknown
I have a shit-load of pictures. I have them on the wall, in albums, in boxes, on the cloud and on my phone. And that’s not counting school photos, shockingly ugly driver’s license photos, i.d. badges, etc. All told, I bet I have a few thousand pictures. They cover every part of my life.
I suppose this is true for all of us. Plus, we hold onto them. Tenaciously.
What is it about photos?
My mother told me, more than once, that if the house burnt down we could replace everything EXCEPT our photographs. But that’s not necessarily true nowadays, and it’s easy to delete photos, but more often than not, we don’t.
I decided to look through a box of old photos. One of the first pictures I pulled out was taken twenty years ago at Disneyland. It was a picture of an old girlfriend standing in front of the haunted house. For 20 years I have kept a picture of a woman who dumped me with casual contempt
because she’d tired of me. Only she didn’t tell me that she was tired of me until she’d already hooked up with the another guy. She put a stake in my heart and a serious dent in my wallet and that last thing she ever said to me, when I called her demanding and explanation, was: “See you never.”
So why the hell did I save the photo? I have a photo of my mom’s second husband, who treated her like shit. I have a photo of our dog, Casey, who bit me on the shin. I have a photo of myself shitfaced and passed out on a couch that an old roommate took. It embarrasses me.
Why save photos of people you hate? Or pictures that involuntarily dredge up bad memories?
I stared at the photo of my and my ex for a while. Then I crumpled it up and threw it into the trash. Right behind it went a picture of myself sporting a horrible mullet, then the picture of the guy who married my mom after my dad died. And I pitched a picture of me when I was overweight. And finally, a picture of me with the guy who stole my ex from me…
I kept the one where I was drunk. Why? As a reminder…
Dig into your pictures. All of them. On your computer, in the cloud and the ones thrown into a shoebox.
Select 5 (five) that you need to throw away. Write down a short description of each in your notebook and describe why they need to go. Get rid of them. Completely.
Photo by Isa