Yesterday afternoon, I trudged to the attic intending to pack away a few coats. Instead, I spent the better part of the afternoon disposing of rubbish written by my younger self. Two large boxes of youthful rubbish, mind. A paper shredder might be a reasonable investment for someone with a tendency to put thoughts to paper, but we live on a farm with a pit for burning, which packs a bit more symbolic impact, if you're into that sort of thing. I accomplished this task without wearing my glasses, lest I be tempted into thinking something was good enough that I might wish to "use it someday."
Right, so the middle aged wisdom part: Don't write poetry unless you are a 1960's confessional poet, and even then, it probably wasn't a good idea. I mean, if Anne Sexton had lived to my age, you know she would have regretted everything that came after, "I Have Been Her Kind". I have to think it would have been worse to die of embarrassment than carbon monoxide poisoning. My point is, you probably don't write very well, and the bastard you poured your heart out over in verse didn't deserve poetry-even really god-awful poetry. They might have deserved Anne Sexton's poetry, depending on how bad of a bastard we're talking about, but even then, only with the benefit of really overly dramatic reading.
I was going to advise putting the pen away, but that brings me to my next bit of old lady wisdom-the Internet is forever. Look, I know how fortunate I am being able to lug my embarrassing notebooks off to the pit for disposal, but if you put those profound thoughts of yours on Facebook, or Blogger, or wherever it is young people share their profound, unedited thoughts...baby, you're screwed. Those over-written blog posts that describe some damned thing you baked as, redolent, infused, garlicky, perfumed...yeah, you're going to be stuck with that. Those toilet training posts you wrote accompanied by a photograph of your child giving a poop-satined high-five for the camera? Yep, at best he's going to hate you, at worst, you're looking at matricide. Deleting posts won't help. Kids, the Internet is forever.
I'd like to take this opportunity to publicly apologise to all my friends that I ever subjected to reading/listening to my youthful rubbish. I am really ever so sorry. So, so, so sorry. Learn from my mistakes kids-don't write poetry.