Saturday, January 16, 2016

Reading My Past

I recently came across a couple of large keepsake boxes that I've kept for years.  Unfortunately, the hard rain of this past summer had gotten to the boxes and made almost everything inside moldy and musty smelling.  It was heartbreaking to see some of my childhood items, accomplishments and memories ruined, but oddly enough it didn't seem to bother me as much as I thought when I first saw the dampened boxes.  Lately, I've been going through corners of my house and getting rid of stuff that I either haven't used or have forgotten about.  I'm getting tired of pushing things around that I really don't need and frankly, I'm starting to feel claustrophobic in my house.  These two large boxes were no exception that I had to go through them and decide what to keep or...  


I hate that word.  PUUUUURGE!

The fact remains that I can't take this stuff with me, I haven't enjoyed any of the contents for years and my kids aren't going to care about most of it anyway.  So I had to make a decision.

What am I going to do with all this stuff???

I found my high school and college diplomas, photos of people I haven't seen since I was a kid, books I didn't even know I had, prom and homecoming corsages, plaques, and awards... 

...But most importantly, the box on top wasn't ruined (just really musty smelling) and it contained all my journals. I have been writing journals since I was 8 years old.  
What a blast I had reading through all those journals and the different phases of my life.  I read about memories I had forgotten about, friends I used to hang out with and the things we did, and thoughts about anything and everything.  30 years of my life written down, how my handwriting had changed, ticket stubs and receipts I've kept, even brochures of camps and activities I did.  

Remember that word that I hate?  Purge.  That's exactly what I did to most of my journals.  I threw them all away.  Why?  Because not only will my kids not care about friends and boyfriends I used to have (because there's a reason why I'm not friends with or dating them anymore) but I don't want them to know the first time I smoked a cigarette, the first time I got trashed at a party or sneaked out of a friend's house when I slept over and the potty mouth I once had.  I was appalled at myself and so thankful that I no longer know that girl I once was.  Sure, it would've been nice for my daughters to read some of those journals someday.  They could've learned a little about me and maybe even relate to me when they become a teenager someday.  My girls will learn more about me reading my blog and my current journals that I did keep.  I kept the journal when Jeff and I were planning our wedding and what we went through those couple of years.  They'll learn about what it was like when I was pregnant with them and the first years of their life as their mom.  Those are the journals they'll be more interested in reading and those are the ones I've kept.

Although it was nice reading those old journals, it actually felt good to throw them out.  Those bad memories are gone forever and the good ones that were worth keeping are still in my heart.  I can't take it with me when I go someday and it's refreshing to simplify my life with a little (ok a lot) less clutter.  My only regret throwing away all my journals: I didn't take a picture of how many notebooks I wrote over the years.