I finally started packing! Yay! I decided that all of my basement junk should not be transported to the new house, since if I have not looked at it in two years it cannot be that important. So I spent the day sorting and tossing, and it was actually more fun than anticipated.
I opened every box and purged much of the clutter. Apparently, at one time I had thought it pertinent to keep all my notes and projects from every class ever taken… I decided that I will keep the major projects… anything with exemplary marks, or a colourful illustration, or bound and official looking, and get rid of the rest. I was careful to remove all the little scraps of paper between the pages and piled in the back of binders though… colourful notes scribbled and passed back and forth in marketing lectures and computer labs… that was the most fun… it was interesting to relive the conversations, and the nonsense, and the inside jokes.
There were dark things too… a sketch I drew in grade 11, the page splattered with little drops from the time I slit my wrist, in an incredibly stupid attempt to get my mother’s attention. I kept that, as a reminder, of just how much the mind matures and grows in a few short years, and how things are never as bad as they feel when you’re in the moment.
Perspective is a beautiful thing.
All kinds of papers… hand-written receipts from when we split the rent three-ways, and then two, back in Oshawa… a report card from my incomplete first attempt at post-secondary education… passive-aggressive notes on post-its and the backs of flyers and bills, kept as proof of a bitchy roommate… high school yearbook photos and random snapshots with loopy inscriptions on the back… I’s dotted with hearts and smiley faces, and proclamations of ever-lasting friendships that fizzled out years ago.
I kept the photos and threw away everything else.
There were strange things too… a white shoebox containing, among other things, a dried and pressed poplar leaf, a plastic lei, a tiny pewter teddy bear, a sketch of my own feet, and some movie stubs. Apparently these were very important to a teenaged-me. I kept this box and its contents intact… I like the idea of my hypothetical future children going through these things when I’ve become a crazy old woman, and remarking on what an interesting person I must have been when I was young.
Most things made me smile… and remember… and some things made me cry… copies of bills that I had no business paying at such a young age… an attempt at some sort of ledger, tracking my earnings at Tim Hortons in grade 9, and my attempts to save up for some back-to-school clothes that weren’t thrift-store bought… angsty poems written in purple gel pen… pictures of mom’s exes, removed from the photo albums so as not to piss off the new boyfriend… all little mementos of my complicated little life.