Seven Photographs

I am obsessed with taking photographs. I love photographs and I always have. I love to decorate with photographs. I love being surrounded by images of loved ones or places I have been. I have hundreds of photos from my wedding. Countless photos of my children.  However, from my first semester of college I have only seven photographs. They all document my freshman dormitory and my dorm room itself. Such a momentous occasion and I have only seven photos. I decorated my dorm room, not with artwork, but with photos of friends and family. Places I loved. But I only have seven photos from my first semester of my freshman year of college. It was a relatively undocumented time for someone who loves documenting memories.

Obviously, this was a tumultuous semester, but I chose to document none of it with photographs. No photos of my new college, although I eventually took some my second semester. No pictures of the library in which I was working. No photos from around the university. No photos of my first college “boyfriend,” even though he was a rapist.  No photos of any of the places we went together. We took a two-hour drive to see a famous Frank Lloyd Wright home and I have nothing from that trip.

For someone who is always behind a camera, the complete void of pictures is telling. Telling that on a much deeper level, it was in fact a time I would rather not remember. A time I would not desire to look back at and reminisce. His face is one I would rather forget. Places I would rather forget. I did not take any photos until I returned to where my parents lived for winter break. Even then, none of the photos from my winter break included the visit from my “boyfriend.” I think this is just one tell-tale sign of the incredible duress I was living in. Atypical behavior, rooted in fear and stress.

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