Almost two months ago, I wrote in Mementos of my high school girlfriend how I wasn’t sure I wanted to review the mementos. Maybe memories I treasured would turn out ordinary happenings of any young man in his late teens.
I haven’t read my letters to her, but I read hers to me and was pleased to find something I’d forgotten — how close we were. More than close. Uninhibited. Something like finishing each other’s sentences. Unreserved in our sharing. We got to know each other talking on the phone three hours a night three or four nights a week. We lived far from school in opposite directions and didn’t have any classes together, so during school didn’t see each other in person that often.
Maybe getting hurt led me to share more reservedly. Maybe with each relationship I knew more about women or life so had less to learn or share. I don’t know, but it was refreshing to see the openness and unreservedness. I hope seeing it helps return some. A big goal of my leadership development has been allowing myself to be more vulnerable.
But her notes aren’t why I’m writing this post.
The Most Romantic Thing I Ever Did
I’m writing because I found what I consider the most romantic thing I ever did. I once got out a piece of cardboard and paper, folded them, and sewed them together into a book, which I wrote and illustrated with my favorite passage from my then favorite book, The Little Prince.
I had never bound a book before, nor did I seek premium materials, so I didn’t expect the result to look sophisticated, and it didn’t. But I came up with the idea — I don’t remember how — and made it with my hands.
I didn’t photograph the inside of the front cover, which contained a special note to her. I’m surprised I included the back cover here for the world to see, but as I’d barely lived a third of my life by then, it’s hardly me who wrote it.
Still, I’m glad I made it then and found it now.
Also, a podcast listener wrote that she liked my episode with Chris Schembra, which spoke about past girlfriends. When readers and listeners tell me what they like, I respond to their initiative.
Read my weekly newsletter
On initiative, leadership, the environment, and burpees