I have gotten started on a cleaning/decluttering kick in my room today. First thing I did was clear out that one corner of the bathroom that never gets cleaned because it is covered in old crap that I was either saving or planning to get rid of.

It was hard. I had to steal my dad’s shredder to do it. My biggest hurdle in this has always been a lack of commitment. I’ll pick out two boxes, fill one with stuff I want to keep, and the other stuff I want to throw away. Then I keep them both. As soon as it’s time to throw away all the crap, I start going through it again, making sure I’m not getting rid of anything I “need.”  And then I decide it’s too big a job for now, and it just goes back to sitting there, breeding sinister dust bunnies who plot my destruction.

With the shredder, I can’t do that. Once it is gone it is gone, and there’s no backing out. But it’s hard. There’s old homework in there. Flyers I made during my abortion of a protest. Records of classes I took, mathematics, French, Chinese. And I don’t want to forget these things. I want to remember my professors. I remember Professor Lamb. He was cute and excited about math. I remember my professor before him, but I’ve forgotten his name. I remember Dr. Easterly and her French class and her very elegant outfits. I remember my first French professor and my Chinese professor, but I’ve forgotten their names. I still remember what they look like, but maybe I won’t always. It’s hard.

I like these little reminders of the good things in my past. But sometimes the past just can’t be preserved, so I endured the vicious attacks of the dust bunnies and the whine of the shredder. And now my room is a little cleaner and healthier.  For now.

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3 Responses to Memories

  1. I feel that same way sometimes. Most of my old notebooks are gone, or got converted to journals after the classes were over…so they’re somewhere around…but I have a big plastic container of all these old things from high school and letters from when my friends and I used to write to each other (before the internet took over completely). I don’t want to get rid of all of it though, because I have this small hope that someday, if I have kids or grandkids, maybe they’d be interested in some of it.

    It’s a dumb reason, I know…but it’s probably one of the biggest ones that keeps me from getting rid of old paper clutter.

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