Spring cleaning the garage is the best excuse to throw away junk that never made it into the house, or has been sitting there as the last stop before the bin. And then there's 'junk' you just can't part with.
Like the diary I kept during my last year of high school. It's so cringe worthy, I could hardly stand my daughter leafing through its pages when she spied it in a stack of books I rescued from their date with the garbage truck last week. She laughed at my life and the dramas I recorded there, along with the lame details of school days in 1985. I laughed with her. Cried a little too, on the inside. Reminiscing does that to me.
Among the theatre tickets and letters from friends, I cooed over photos of my baby cousin born that year and shivered at the red letter count-down to final exams. Typical teenage notes, phone numbers (some of people I don't remember) and memorabilia fell out of the pages, including signed permission from my friend Trish to use a particular life experience in one of my books, someday. Yes, it's all there, in faded ink, some of it unrecognisable and other stuff... well just plain inexplicable.
Like the newspaper clipping from the Jobs Vacant section, I taped onto August 13th.
We are looking for writers wanting to develop their skills and have their work reviewed by established authors. Selected works will also be published.
Really? If I had not seen this clipping with my own eyes, I could never have imagined anything like this crossed my path that year. Worse still, is my naive and forgotten response, written in my own hand beneath.
Rang about this. No answer.
I died laughing!
I don't know what I expected to hear on the other end of the line and I'm kind of glad nobody answered in the end. No one becomes an author by answering an add in the paper, and certainly not at 17.
If I had a moment like the ones in the movies, when the older version of a character gets to speak to themselves in the past, I would have told 17 year old Dorothy, to just keep writing.
Fill more diaries with words Dotti, no matter how lame they sound. Keep reading, keep scribbling. Practice and don't ever give up on the dream. It has nothing to do with answering newspaper adds. And everything to do with God's timing and your own hard work.
I like to think she would have listened. Would have rolled her eyes maybe, and followed through.
But the credits are not rolling yet and there's more to come, I hope. What would the Dorothy of 25 years from now, like to tell me today? Boggles the mind a bit, doesn't it?
What would you tell your younger self, if you had the chance to spur them on into the future? And what would you wish for the self of tomorrow, to share with you today?