Friday, 26 October 2018

Photos, Changing Relationships and an OCD Dilemma!

When something ‘big’ ends in our life, we usually replace it with something of the same importance or maybe at least try to substitute it with something we believe could possibly take its place.
Maybe that is why as my relationship of seventeen and a half years came to its slow yet sudden death last year, my friends, previously relegated to the background, came to the fore of a new adult life that was even lonelier than that of my married-but-always-alone self.

For the first few months I happily collected photos from trips to the bar, restaurant or even simply a snapshot taken at work to send on as a happy birthday to a missing colleague. I held onto the digital version of these pictures with an almost reverence and proceeded to develop them in order to place in an album pertaining to the ‘new’ me, plus friends.

With an ever increasing amount of photos and still no album, I proceeded to fantasise about anything from a scrapbook kind of book to paste them in to a vintage-style cord and pegs to hang them by. Eventually I found to buy an album that felt ‘just right’ but didn’t slip my photos into it for never having time.

Meanwhile, a boyfriend became an ex and I debated between still adding our photos to the album else saving them in my treasure box with memories old and new. I even toyed with the idea of developing the rest of the photos of us together else tearing up the ones I did have a hard copy of. In the end, I couldn’t get myself to do this last but am yet to get the rest of them printed out, though I eventually will, that I know.

Where am I going with this? My boyfriend was unfortunately not the only person to become an ex in my life this past year. In fact, I call him an ‘ex’ due to the nature of our relationship which is now no more yet I am still content with this person’s presence in my life to date and am so so glad that following the heartache I have come out the other side of the pain with the photos of us still intact.

In other cases I was not so lucky and people I would previously have gone out of my way for and treasured greatly suddenly left my life, leaving only the photos to remind me of good times. In some cases, I have made peace with the way things ended up and so still would like a reminder of the ‘times gone by’ in my album. That said, some relationships end too badly to even contemplate leaving said friends’ faces in my album.

I have been collecting these photos now for over a year, still all of them tucked in a pile and none of them actually making it into the album. I have arranged them according to historical timeline and contemplated more than once starting to put them in the plastic slips inside their eventual home. With the excuse that I need to develop some that should go in between others, should it be an album about ‘me’ else also incorporate those pics of my son, as well as the eternal to-put-or-not-to-put in the ones of myself with said ex boyfriend/now close friend, I am yet to start on project put-photos-in-their-place.
So back to my previous comment about a friendship ending so badly I must now remove photos of myself with this particular ex-friend, how will my album fare considering that I will keep pulling out photos and stuffing others in, whilst maintaining my OCD historical order intact, which will require me to reorganise the whole album after every friend break-up? (I have come to expect them considering the frequency with which they happened this past year after all! Read my other article Goodbye Toxic Friendships for more about this.)

I rather think my kitsch idea of stringing the photos along the wall behind my desk else pinning them on a cork board with my new trendy gold pins is preferable to the much more unchanging nature of an album after all.

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