Writing is a form of therapy; I'm not sure what actual therapists think about that, but for me, when I write, stuff comes out of my brain that I wasn't sure was in there.
I'm writing something big at the moment, something I'm unlikely to release into the wild but it's turned out to be really fun. It's involved me looking up a lot of people on the internet whom I haven't seen for 30 years or more and to be honest, it's been a riot.
Part of the exercise is looking back on how I was and how that has made me who I am now; what decisions I made, particularly ones which I make repeatedly and which it might be a good idea to shelve. The other part is to look at some of the people involved in those decisions and, frankly because I'm a nosy cow, I've gone and looked them all up.
So far I've not had as many surprises as I would have liked. The boy who I thought would be a doctor is a dentist, the boy I thought would take over his father's farm probably did just that, at least he's sitting on some agricultural board somewhere. The girls I thought would get married and settle down early are now grandmothers, the ones I thought would go off the rails are still wild and beautiful; some of them look a bit lost now, but then I'm sure I do too.
Some people are impossible to find; some have either resisted the lure of the internet; or perhaps they have died or changed their names or moved so far away that they are lost in a sea of people with the same names.
Some I've found through their obituaries, memorial pages on facebook and the like. Equally, some who I thought would have died years ago are still alive and living in strange and wonderful places. Some have gone on to do wonderful things. Some couples who I thought would never last are still happily together; some I thought would last forever are now parted.
The great surprises are the best part of this stalking of my past, way better than the dentist; like the chap I thought would have overdosed years ago who now looks absolutely fantastic and is living some sort of dream in an exotic location with a beautiful woman... or like the first boy I ever kissed properly who is still handsome as hell and looks like he's having a blast being an awesome teacher. Or like the pinched, mean little lying girl who is now a beautiful singer songwriter. Time has brought things to all of us.
It's helped me remember too what I loved about myself back before things got so miserable and the upshot is that I'm going to try putting something out in writing on a daily basis. My writing skill is a muscle and sadly it's pretty flaccid these days; but I have a book to write and various corners of the internet to dust off, so I'm going to see what happens.