So, I’m going through the pictures on my computer today. Kyle’s been riding my ass for weeks to organize my pictures so he can back them up, and I’ve been dragging my feet hardcore. So today I finally sat down with a week’s worth of DVRed What Not to Wears and plowed through them.
I really enjoyed sorting through all my photos. I don’t take nearly enough, and as my life gets more and more technologically immersed I believe that my pictures are losing the value that they once had. I was having fun looking through them and organizing them, when I came across a class of pictures that I have no clue what to do with.
No, they aren’t naked photos. (Those have their own folder.) These are pictures of me and my ex-boyfriend, whom I dated for over 2 years. We ended things on (comparatively) good terms, and though we don’t really talk anymore I consider him a great guy for whom I wish nothing but happiness. But it still doesn’t change the fact that he’s my ex. Seeing those pictures gives me a small amount of sadness, and my husband, jealousy that he doesn’t quite understand. Neither one of us really likes to see those pictures come up on a digital picture frame. But can I really just delete them? And do I even want to? At least half of the pictures taken of me during the first 2 years of college have my ex in them; that’s a freakin’ lot of pictures to loose just because some guy’s in them. I suppose I could photoshop him out of them, but that feels like a lie.
Which brings me to the other issue. In theory I could just hit delete, and rid myself of every picture with this guy in it. In a matter of minutes, I could completely rid my life of any evidence that he ever existed. Looking back, you’d never be able to tell that we were ever together. But by doing so, I’d be erasing a part of my past. Do I just pretend that I’ve never been to Mexico? Or do I just take out the pictures of him, and pretend that I went on the trip with no one, a magical trip spent wafting around the beach? Even if the relationship didn’t turn out the way I’d hoped, it still helped to mold who I am today.
I guess it really comes down to the question of which is more painful: the constant reminder of lost happy endings or the loss of a part of my past? This question is complicated by the fact that the answer doesn’t only affect me, but Kyle as well. He hates seeing pictures of my ex, and I can’t say I blame him. While moving last year I found a stash of pictures of him and his ex; I stuffed them in a book. I can’t stand seeing pictures of his ex either, so how can I ask him to look at pictures of mine? It’s a rough question, one that I don’t have a real answer to.
In the end, I don’t imagine I’ll have the heart to delete them. Preservation of the past is very important to me, no matter how painful that past may be. I imagine they’ll end up in their own folder, hidden away on my hard drive. That way they’re always there to be opened up when I’m alone in a quiet office, and thinking about things that were.