August 3, 2011


Many of you know that I'm getting a new phone. It should arrive in the mail tomorrow, and I am insanely excited. This is mostly because the Motorola Atrix pretty much wins at life and destroys the Samsung Flight I have been using for the last year and a half.

But in the midst of all of this excitement, there is one thing that I am slowly realizing will be the greatest con of this whole experience.

I did not have a good time in elementary school, and to be honest middle school was plain awful. I didn't fit in, I was even more awkward than I am now (hard to believe, I know), and I didn't relate well to my peer group, which often led to a lot of rumours and strife. My parents often said that I was eight going on thirty, and it was obvious to the rest of the school that I didn't belong. I knew this, and yet it still came as a surprise recently when someone I had gone to elementary school with confessed to "knowing of [me]" instead of actually getting to know me. Apparently my reputation preceded me. Kids can be cruel, and to put it plainly it was not a good time for me.

But high school has been fantastic for me. I have loved it and blossomed into a very different person from the girl I was three years ago. I have met the most incredible people, and I have learned a lot about myself. The opportunities I have been given are ones I would never trade for the world. This goes especially for my week at Girls State. I have openly told many people that it was probably the best week of my life, and I have tried to make sure that I don't forget a single moment of it. I took close to four hundred pictures while I was there, and yet it still doesn't feel like enough. I felt like I belonged and was understood, which is a feeling I haven't experienced often.

As I start my final year of high school, I know that this adventure will be one I will want to remember.

But there is something holding me back. My current phone. As stupid as I feel for admitting it, technology is an integral part of our lives, and cell phones are a key part of the way my generation communicates. So while I hate myeslf for saying that my phone is an extension of my relationships with others, it's true.

I like to hoard text messages, the ones that mean something to me. Until now, I have been limited in this - I only learned how to lock text messages on my phone in April. Up to that point I had to uncheck each individual text that I wanted to save by hand each time I had to clear my inbox, which took some time given that I had to delete my inbox every two days (three on a slow run). Once I learned how to lock messages, life became quite a bit easier, but my hoarding got worse.

Some of the texts that I've saved are little words of comfort or votes of confidence. Some are reassurances of the sender's support. Some are hilarious comments (highlighters CAN ejaculate, I promise you) or rousing pep talks. Some are kind words. Some are little things like ":) smiley to brighten your day :)" or "you rock, you know that?" Some are birthday wishes or congratulations. Some are reminders of the ways I've been hurt. Some are reminders of the ways I've hurt others. Some are reminders of the times I've been strong. Some are affirmations that no one will be disappointed with my performance in school. Some are just the simple "I miss you" or "I'll be here" or "I love you."

The point is, these texts are what have gotten me through a lot of the tough times I've had in the last few months. I've reread them each a hundred times over, at least, and they have given me confidence. I don't want to lose them, but this new phone will take that choice away from me.

Yet, at the same time, I wonder if it is for the best. I wonder if emptying my inbox will be cathartic and relieving. My phone physically only weighs a few ounces, but the emotional baggage I've carried around with it has weighed me down like crazy. I can only hope that clearing it out will be a step towards making my brain a safe place to inhabit. And I know that not being afraid of coming across saved texts from a time when things were different is a step towards healing. Out of my inbox, out of my head, out of my life. It's a crutch, but like with actual crutches, at some point I need to learn how to walk on my own. I need to learn how to find my own confidence and my own inner strength, rather than relying on the words of others. Before I can start to heal and grow, I need a fresh start. I need a clean slate with myself.

Exhibit A of why I shouldn't be allowed to start writing posts after midnight. Goodness, I brood late at night. Also, my syntax, transitions, and grammar fail when I'm that tired. Thank goodness I didn't post this when I originally wrote it. Hoorah for editing!

1 comment:

  1. I have the same problem with hoarding text messages that mean something to me.. locking them in my phone for a down day or something. When I had to switch phones, I still wanted to keep those messages but I didn't really have a choice. As crazy as it was, I ended up writing down the ones that meant the most on a sheet of paper with the "who sent it, what time it was sent, and the date." Every now and then it's fun to physically see -on paper- the messages, and it gives the words a new sort of life. Just an idea for ya.