The Past Revisited

- by Kim Watters

My past has caught up with me. In the midst of sorting through old boxes of stuff from my youth, I came across an aptitude test that I’d taken in high school a few decades ago. Okay, I guess now is the time to admit I hate throwing anything away. My name should be Kim Packrat Watters.

I don’t know why it is so difficult to let go. Maybe it’s because each and every scrap of paper, or tiny glass figurine has meaning to me. Do I really need all the things that I’ve kept throughout the years? No. Can I live without them? Obviously yes, since they’ve been hidden in boxes. But parting with them is like throwing a piece of myself away. I have to force myself to do it because I’m moving.  I don’t need every single note my girlfriends passed to me in high school. Past letters from boyfriends are simply taking up space because we’ve all moved on in our lives.

My Girl Scout sash stays and so do the articles I wrote for my high school paper. They represent a lifetime ago and I’ll enjoy sharing them with my kids. But do I really need my SAT scores? I graduated college a few decades ago. Hmmm. Maybe. Not telling you those, though.

Back to my aptitude scores. I’d vaguely remembered this test and always wondered where I’d put the piece of paper. It would be interesting to see what the scores were as an adult firmly planted in the real world. See? Being a packrat helps. As a kid, I hadn’t paid much attention to them. Maybe I was too busy thinking about boys? College? What to wear to the next basketball game and not some black type written words on a piece of paper? Hard to say, but when you’re a hormonal teen, it could have been any number of reasons. The real reason was that I had sights on being a foreign correspondent or work for a large international corporation.

Imagine my surprise when I found that piece of paper a few weeks ago and saw that I scored very high in the creative field. It said I had to ability to be a writer. Wow. Really? And all these years I’ve been an accountant. I never did work in the international field. Maybe one of my characters will one day.

I guess these tests really do have some truth to them. Fast forward a few decades later. Guess what? I am a writer. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think back then when I slipped that paper into a box that I would actually unknowingly fulfill that destiny. Interesting, isn’t it?

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