Burning Memories

Last week I took a bit of a trip down memory lane and browsed through my high school yearbooks. High school was a mixed bag for me. I had my share of good moments and then some that I would like to forget. It is evident just by what some people said to me in my yearbook. Had some people telling me I was a great guy and then some people telling me that I was the devil and I should go kill people and sacrifice them to Satan. One of the best ones in my opinion was one dude who told me that he couldn't talk to me anymore unless I went through therapy. Was I really that bad? I think I was at a confused time in my life. I didn't know how to deal with depression and all the shit that my mom was going through so I didn't really know how I should act. Sadly after four and a half years of high school I dropped out shortly after my mom had passed away. If there is anything I regret it is that I dropped out.

Back in high school I was first in plumbing and then went to wood shop. Plumbing didn't work out for me mainly cause the teacher was a fucking douche bag. I understand that there was a certain due date for projects but I fell so far behind that no matter how much time and effort I put into trying to catch up I couldn't. It is not that I didn't know what I was doing. For example in all three marking periods of the first semester I failed each marking period but on the final exam I got a B. He had a choice to either flunk me or pass me because of how well I did on the exam and he decided to flunk me. Once you flunk a semester of shop the entire year is screwed up. So the second semester I didn't even try. The next year I went into wood shop. I liked wood shop. It was more laid back and as long as you did work you passed. I also got along pretty well with my teacher Mr. Walkner. He was suppose to be my teacher for the following year but that did not work out. We had talked about the possibility of me building my own guitar. Sounded cool in theory at least. Never happened. I never really finished any of my projects that I was doing in wood shop. I don't think I was cut out for cabinetmaking. I probably should of went into carpentry or something. Anyways one thing I did make was a mallet. I worked hard to make that mallet look good. Think I got like a B on it or something, not entirely sure now. I ended up giving it to my father and in the garage it sat for the next seventeen years.

I recently discovered I have an obsession with burning things in a fire pit. I haven't been out there too much lately but after spending time outside by the fire pit by my sister Cindy's house I discovered I really enjoyed being outside by a fire. I convinced my father that we should get another fire pit. He had one before but for whatever reason he decided that he wanted to get rid of it. Typical of my father to get something and then get rid of it. He even got rid of all of our snow blowers. Yeah I am fine with just shoveling but it was nice to have a snow blower option. Anyway two weeks ago we ended up getting our own fire pit cause I felt like we should have one again.

Couple of years ago, well actually shortly after my sister Mary died I had decided it was time to get rid of the box of letters that me and Jen wrote back and forth to each other before we actually got together in person. Before she left me and divorced me she had left all of the letters with me, including all of them that I had written to her. Of course I started reading some of them but then I decided it was time to move on and get rid of all of these memories. So one morning when my father had the old fire pit I put all of the old letters in there and we burned them all. Included in all of the letters were birthday cards, Xmas cards, Valentine's day cards, etc. It was sorta like therapy burning all those memories away.

When I built the fire pit a couple of weeks ago we decided to find some stuff to burn right away. We had some branches from the tree in front and we had bought a few pieces of wood from Pick'N'Save to burn. We were searching in the garage for things to possibly burn. There was an old baseball bat of mine from like twenty years ago or so when I was on a softball team and I was playing baseball with my friends all the time. There were some other things like an old broom that was basically useless. I came across the mallet that I had made back in high school. Still sitting there on the shelve. It had never been used since the day it was put in the garage. I probably touched it a few times over the years to tell people that hey this is one thing that I made back in wood shop in high school but that was the extent of any use that it got. I decided that the mallet would be good to put in the pit and set on fire. Ultimately even though I did ok in wood shop it was another failure of mine because I did not go any further with that in high school and after high school. It was time to burn away another memory of mine. I put it in the pit and watch it go up in flames.

If only it was so easy to cast away all bad memories into the fire and watch them burn and fade away. The thing is throwing away memories can be simple to do but we choose to hang onto them for whatever reason. Maybe we like torturing ourselves? Maybe we keep them around as a constant reminder of how things could of been or how we should of done things differently? I don't think it is necessary to cast away everything but only as long as you find the positives in whatever it is. Sure I refer to the past but I try not to dwell on the negative. Dwelling on the past and the negatives do you no good. Sometimes it is just good to burn those memories away.

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