Today I went through a big box of random paperwork that I had stowed in the corner upstairs. I spent half the time crying. Fat stacks of xeroxed opera scores; memos and travel itineraries from the recital series that I used to work for; letters to hospitals requesting to volunteer; notecards with praise from conductors and colleagues, binders and folders crammed with notes, assignments, and papers; my name on old concert posters and in programs. I don't know why I saved so much. I guess I figured maybe I would need it. Maybe the old me would have needed it. I slowly leafed through it all, and put almost everything in a pile to use as kindling for the wood stove. It was sort of devastating to review the things I used to do in my old life, versus everything I don't do now. I miss life as a student. I liked being sheltered from the real world -- from owning a house, from having a frustrating full-time job, from paying property taxes.
I need to go to work but all I can think about is how I'd rather be trapped under the ice on a frozen lake or browsing the aisles of Agway for rat poison. I keep telling myself not to indulge in thinking this way -- I mean, it really isn't me, right? They're just stupid thoughts. I don't really know anymore. Maybe it's exactly the opposite; maybe I'm irrevocably drawn to these patterns of thinking; maybe they define who I am.