Friday, July 15, 2005

While searching for some items to sell on ebay.com and half.com these last two nights I managed to come across a couple old boxes full of things that I had forgotten about since college started two years ago. I remember trying to sort through the contents long before I left for college, but as we moved to our new house I simply threw some of my stuff in random boxes and never really looked at it until I got to each box individually. Eventually summer passed and I had only managed to sort out the basic stuff for my room: my books, my desk, the things to throw away and things to give away. The things that had yet to be sorted, however, remained in their boxes as I returned to Idaho to start college. Yet, as I left, I remember wanting to sort the items out by the year's end when I returned to Germany for winter vacation. I never did though.

In fact, I had completely forgotten about them. And while part of me wants to believe that I didn't forget about them, because I usually remember so many things, I really did forget about these boxes. I'm sure a great deal of my forgetfulness about these boxes can be attributed to their new placement during the last couple of visits home, but I'm still surprised that I never realized they had been moved.

Regardless, I decided to finally go through the boxes to sort the contents and hopefully find some old books or video games to sell. What I found in these boxes, however, I didn't expect at all. Instead of finding books and games, I ended up rummaging through numerous pictures, clippings, letters, notes and other bits from my past. Items that I had treasured and held in high regard back in high school that, as they slipped through my hands, meant nothing to me anymore.

I picked up a pack of photos and flipped open the package only to find photos of people I haven't talked to in forever. People I don't even talk to anymore. People I haven't seen in two years. People I remember, and those I that don't want to remember. I scrambled for another pack of photos, but this time I was more reluctant to open it. What faces, places, and stories would these pictures tell? I hesitated. Maybe it was better not looking at the past? Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed high school and I had good friends and great times, but I also knew that so much had changed since then that it made looking back seem kind of awkward. Still, my curiosity got the better of me as I opened the next batch. More people. More stories. More memories of moments long since passed. My mind flooded with thoughts of "I wonder what happened to...", "Wow, I can't believe that this is the same person..." and much more.

It started thinking about how much things have changed--how drastically things can change in a single year. It's not that I hadn't realized things changed, but rather that I just thought I moved on without having to look back at these items again.

And yet, in many ways I'm glad I stumbled upon them. As I sifted through the rest of the box and organized the items, I started to realize that all of these things have helped shape who I am and what I know. Trivial things like trying to make sure a certain depressive friend was always happy or keeping tabs on activities in places I hadn't been in years (among many others) no longer held any bearing. Sure, they were pivotal back then. Yet, now, I realize that the 20 year-old me wouldn't even bother with these situations, activities, or people now. Things that caused so much stress back then aren't even worth my time now.

I guess that's been the biggest relief in sorting these items so far: realizing that things are only as difficult as I choose to make them. I could've severed some of these ties a long time ago and saved myself a lot of stress, but part of me felt and thought that so many aspects of the situations in my life were out of my hands. Or maybe I just didn't want to complicate things because I thought they were fine, or I just didn't want things to get worse. That's not the case anymore. I'm finally seeing that I wield a great amount of control over the things that happen in my life and how I deal with them, I just never knew how much until now.

As for the boxes and their contents, I haven't decided what to do with all of them yet. I do, however, know that where they finally end up (in another box for keepsakes or shreded and recycled/trashed) doesn't matter much anymore. I've gotten everything I needed from them.


Maybe the world will look like this forever.
You can breathe, you can breathe now.

3 comments:

rainydayinmay said...

what a great post! i did this actually, about a month ago. we just bought a house (here in crappy michigan) and i ended up going through boxes of things i hadn't looked at in a few years. it was strange to realize how at one time it had been my hearts possessions and the majority of it now meant nothing......
growing up is so strange.... moving on sometimes is even stranger, especially when we don't realize we have until after the fact...
i am rambling- ANYWAY great post... :)

Blue said...

Oh God, I hope you didn't find any of our notes from high school. I was so immature back then! Wait...I'm immature now, but I have an excuse.

I came across one of your Christmas cards about a month ago...made me laugh! Funny times!

I miss you!

Thister said...

Hey Misty,

Yeah, growing up is strange. It is the change that comes in due process, however, that is most interesting and I'll say enjoyable to me.

Blue,

I did find some of our notes! Haha! I also have all kinds of all stuff from yearbook class and numerous other classes too! XD What was I thinking keeping my spanish notebook?

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