I remember as a kid working on math problems that made my head feel it would explode with the effort of comprehension. Sometimes, when I’m writing, I get a similar feeling as I try to coerce the ideas in my head into words to be read. Yesterday I experienced this feeling as I reconnected with a woman I worked with some thirty years ago. We shared stories and compared notes on who we’d kept in touch with from our old workplace. Names were brought up I’d known well thirty years ago, but that I hadn’t thought of in the intervening decades. My mind struggled, digging deep to conjure faces to fit the names and who worked where.
My husband and I have used a dresser drawer analogy to deal with negative experiences. At some point, it doesn’t pay to dwell on the negative – just put it in the drawer and shut it. Sometimes “stuff” sneaks out of the drawer; sometime it’s necessary to reopen the drawer, but it’s comforting to be able to simply put some “stuff” in the drawer and let it go. Yesterday, as I worked to remember faces and names, I felt my brain was full of old rusty file cabinets which hold the memories and information of my life. Some of these file cabinets are really, really old and rusty and those were the ones I worked to open yesterday. I felt my brain physically struggle to yank open some of those drawers. Sometimes, the drawer would fly open with the effort and memories would come flooding back. Other times, I simply could not open the drawer – the face, the memory just wouldn’t release back into my brain.
Today we’re heading off to our 40th high school reunion. I’m anticipating a very tired, sore brain by the end of the day.