Remember I told you that I’ve been having my husband bring me up one box at a time from the basement to declutter? Well, there are a couple of reasons for that, one being simply so that I don’t get distracted or overwhelmed by the project at large. But the other reason, is that he doesn’t think twice about what box to grab. And that is exactly how I ended up getting sucked into a time warp today. I’ll be honest with you, I set my timer for 20 minutes, fully expecting to get through this box just fine, thinking it was full of lots of “treasures” from my youth that I had no need for now. Boy was I mistaken. I had apparently been pretty good at paring down my belongings when this memory box was created. I moved to San Diego in 2009, and I was able to store all of my prized possessions in this tub, which was at my mom’s for a very long time. It’s been in my basement for a couple of years, but I hadn’t gotten into it until today. So, here I am 11 years later, going through memories from junior high through my twenties. I threw away things no longer relevant: old business cards, invitations to weddings and pictures of friends with their now divorced spouses, old phone chargers, and a few random receipts and badly developed pictures. But for the most part, I was sifting through years of memories… many of which I had completely forgotten.
In the last hour or so, I’ve experienced about every emotion possible. Sadness as I came across pictures of friends and family members no longer living. Embarrassment from some poor life choices caught on film. Joy as I recalled some amazing adventures and friendships over the years in all different parts of the country. Bewilderment at memories I have zero recollection of: how did I completely forget that I went to homecoming with my high school crush? I seriously do not remember that. So weird. Did we skip the dance? Feel free to weigh in if you remember my homecomings. Not even sure when this one would have been, probably sophomore or junior year? No clue, but there are pictures, and apparently I was there with the quarterback. Concert tickets to John Mayer in 2008… was I actually there? Did you go with me? So strange how our memories work, isn’t it? Why did I keep those and none of the other several dozens of concert ticket stubs I tossed over the years? I have tons of pictures of people that look vaguely familiar, but I don’t know their names or have any idea as to why they’re captured on camera and saved with the rest…
I read cards and letters from friends I no longer speak with that said they’d always be there for me. I found notes from my mom encouraging me when I was obviously going through rough times. I even found a card and letter from my dad that I didn’t know I had from 1996, and I feel so thankful to have that memento that I will forever cherish (he has been gone since 2003).
I put almost all of it back in that box. At some point I will digitize things, make photo albums, or arrange them in photo boxes. But for now, I will keep this box in a closet I can easily access whenever I want to take a trip down memory lane. I did keep out a few old pictures of my dad and grandparents that I will frame now, along with some special keepsakes. Evidently I didn’t want to waste the Christmas cards I bought at the time, so just wait! You might get a Pooh card this year if you’re on my card list… I’ll even use a forever stamp I found in a box in my basement yesterday!
Wow. That took a LOT out of me. And to that I will say… don’t box up your memories and forget about them for a decade or more. Keep them where you can be reminded of loved ones and times gone by. Treasure your treasures. Don’t bury them.