I’m not sure what happened to me.
You should know, before I begin, that I’m one of those people that saves every email they’ve ever written or received. So, as you can well imagine, approximately half of my 40GB hard drive is taken up with email (just kidding, but it’s really no laughing matter how far back these things go).
I was looking through my Sent Items folder and realized that I had doubles of every email I sent between the dates of March of 1999 through October of 2000 (or thereabouts). Being the technological guru that I am, I realized that was a rather large amount of emails taking a lot of space that didn’t need taking.
But that’s not really what happened to me.
So I’m scrolling down using the clever little wheel on my mouse (those Microsoft geniuses!), selecting every other email so I can rid my sanity of these duplicate space-takers. As I scroll, I am reading some of the email subjects… and they’re funny! I never knew I was funny!
There are emails with obscure Austin Powers’ references like, “No, Mini-Me, we don’t gnaw on our kitty,” nonsensical crap like “Wadaladabingbang,” and even frightening apocalyptic things like “IT’S THE Y2K BUG – WE’RE ALL SCREWED!!!!!” I’ve even got one with this subject: “Mini-RE: It’s a flu shot, I don’t want you getting sick…” — can you even stand the wit?? Mini-RE:… man, I just crack myself up. (Keep in mind these are just subject lines; can you even imagine the infinite depths of humor that could be contained in the email body!?)
But that’s not what happened either.
As my wheel continues it’s journey upwards toward the more recently written emails, I am getting the impression that I am, sadly, getting less and less funny. I am just not as jovial… I might be getting actually, kinda, boring.
What happened to me? (There’s the question.)
I’ll tell you what happened: I “grew up.” I started conversing with quote-unquote “adults” and thus, had to obviously rid myself of the extraneous wit. Professionals have no time for such nonsense, you know.
The only problem is that I think I liked myself better before — that person who wasn’t afraid of smiling, of being a little goofy.
In a fantastic movie called Finding Neverland, Johnny Depp’s character, J.M. Barrie, has a conversation with a boy named Peter that has adult syndrome — he’s grown up too quickly and acts older than he actually is. Barrie creates an imaginary world where Peter’s dog Rufus becomes a bear in the circus, and Peter says “This is absurd. It’s just a dog.”
Barrie replies, “Just a dog? Rufus dreams of being a bear, and you want to shatter those dreams by saying he’s just a dog? What a horrible candle-snuffing word. That’s like saying, ‘He can’t climb that mountain, he’s just a man,’ or ‘That’s not a diamond, it’s just a rock.’ Just.”
It’s just a bit of silliness, really.
Well, I should hope so.
A little more silliness sounds pretty good right about now.
I know exactly what you mean. It occurs to me when I flip through old photographs from our Ward days and all the retreats – slumber parties with the ladies when we weren’t ripping each others’ egos apart. It took me awhile to pin point just what it was that I saw in this girl in the photographs: this quality that was apparent in her face, in her expression, but currently absent from who I am now. I look at her as I would look at another person, and I miss her terribly.
It’s ironic, but “Finding Neverland” actually brought a very similar reaction in me as well…so much so that I wrote an article about the feeling of loss I had for the girl in those photographs.
But as much as I would love to be that girl again, a part of me knows she wouldn’t fare well within the life I have now. I guess it’s about finding that balance.