“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
– George Bernard Shaw
Many years ago, in a land far away and before electronic files, I gathered up all of the favorite poems and stories I had written and organized them in a sparkling white, three-ring binder.
I put my love poems in the front section, far away from my “no one understands the unique suffering I have endured” poems. None of my nature poems made the cut, except for one about Evergreen, Colorado, back before the upper-class invasion. I chose to put all of my funny and awe-inspiring short stories in the back section of the binder, thinking they would serve as a real treat for the reader who had been softened up by my sensitive sonnets.
Then I put the binder away. I got jobs, mowed yards and played tag with my children, then grandchildren. I forgot all about the binder, and the treasures hidden within.
A few years ago, I stumbled across a poem someone had written about a little village in the Rocky Mountains. It reminded me of my Evergreen poem, and the idyllic writer I once had been.
Off I went to the attic to search through boxes and boxes that stored the decades of the past. I wanted to find myself in my old writings, to rekindle the real me.
And there it was. I found my white binder at the bottom of a dusty box labeled with a black marker: KEEP…BOOKS, BINDERS, GAMES, ETC.
Off I snuck to find a quiet room, a soft chair and a reading lamp. I opened the binder and dove in.
Ouch! Who was that guy full of adjectives and adverbs and what was he trying to say? How many times was he going to express being emotionally wounded, unappreciated and full of self-rapture? I quickly closed the binder before taking further punishment in the short story section.
George Bernard Shaw had it right. The actions I take each day create who I am. I won’t find myself inside this old white binder. Thank goodness.