[Moving Zeal] Shredding Old Memories

I’ve held onto some memories for too long. The good ones, of course, I want to hold onto forever. The bad ones, though? The ones that just bring me down have limited uses: sometimes, remembering these events can be useful as metrics for where I’ve been, what I don’t want to repeat, and advisory lessons. Otherwise, all too often, the emotions of those memories weigh me down more than help me out. Just shred ’em!

The old paystubs brought back bittersweet memories.

Along with some hate-spewed letters I wrote, bringing back negative memories, these things just weigh me down, to a certain extent, so I shredded them all. It would be faster to burn or bring these all to a shredding event, but part of the catharsis is shredding each item. Saying goodbye, in a sense, to a memory. Just like when I’ve donated things to thrift stores or thrown things away, saying “goodbye” isn’t a terrible thing to me anymore.

Saying goodbye means setting a memory free.

A memory might occasionally drift back into my active mind, or my dreams, but without the object – here, paperwork, but this applies to any object, like a bittersweet book, or an object broken in anger – then that memory will fade faster and haunt less. That’s my theory, anyway. I think it’s more likely to happen when we experience the memory fully, one last time, as a way of fighting then overcoming the battle within us that the memory holds.

It’s a dangerous balance, though.

As much as I wanted to go through everything as quickly as possible, to get all that bad blood out of me, it’s terrible for the psyche and ego, not to mention shredder, to go through so much mental anguish. Just like how exercising too much can lead to injury and long-term issues, if we plow through too many memories we’ve dredged up, the harder it will be to actually put those memories to rest. I don’t know if memories scream as loudly for others as they do for me, but sometimes it’s nice when they’re quiet.

Confronting memories is the only way I’ve found to quiet them.

When a particular memory is too overwhelming, I’ll find a quiet spot and just experience that memory fully. All the pain, anger, and feelings of wanting to change everything about how it happened will spike to a nearly-overwhelming high, then dissipate. It’s almost like memories like that want to run their rude attitude through my psyche on one last thrill ride before they dissolve into nothingness without even so much as a whimper.

Sometimes, I think that’s all those memories want.

Overanalyzing is just a matter of overthinking about memories at the wrong times. If we study and meditate on why certain woes worry us, in private, then that will develop our self-discovery. When in public, I adopt a “Zombiepaper” mask, with either a professional or casual attitude, then proceed with courage.

I’d prefer experiencing new positive memories than ruminating.

Quotes: None.
Sources: My personal experiences.
Inspirations: A few days ago when I was able to figure out a spot for my shredder, and started shredding old paperwork, it was both difficult and rewarding, so I wanted to capture those complex emotions.
Related: Other Moving Zeal essays.
Photo: Abstract shot of my shredder.
Written On: From 10PM to 11:15PM, but writing a sentence, then switching over to chat with friends, then returning to writing.
Last Edited: I did a quick double-check edit to make sure things read well. I’m not 100% happy with it, but it’s good enough for now.
My big goal is to write. My important goal is to write "The Story." My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame a fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. Let's strive to be better everyday. (Avatar)