Sunday, September 5, 2010

boxing, unboxing and reboxing

So what happens when you spend your childhood moving every two years?

You box up all your crap. Move it to your new destination. Only to unbox some of it, while the rest goes in 'storage'.

And then you do it all over again.

Eventually, you have what I refer to as 'lost toys'. Items that were once part of your life, but then disappeared after the move from point K to point L. You know they're out there somewhere and that one day you will reunite. But you're just not sure when.

Ladies and gentlemen, today we were reunited.

Barbies. Books. Hand-painted dogs. They were all there. In mass amounts.

The worst part was throwing away the hundred or so cards I'd accumulated over the years. Birthday cards. Christmas cards. Thank you cards. Cards-for-no-reason cards. I had felt obligated to keep them simply because someone somewhere had felt obligated to give them.

But realizing it was never the intention of those people to burden me with guilt, I threw them away. All 254 of them.

The second worst part was going through my high school and college notebooks. There had to be a few dozen of these, and I swear the only reason I'd held on to them was because I knew that one day, I'd run into someone who would challenge me on the order of the rulers of the Roman Empire, and I'd have to bust out my Greek and Roman History notebook from high school in order to win the argument.

But since the invention of Wikipedia, I realized my books were outdated. So I threw them away. All 87 of them.

And finally, the third worst part of going through all my crap was the fact that I was a writer. Always have been. Always will be.

Poems, thoughts and stories were scribbled on everything from church bulletins to portions of Bounce Fabric Softener cardboard boxes. Folders of ideas, notebooks of the beginnings of epic tales--EVERY THING I HAD EVER WRITTEN FROM AS EARLY AS 1991 filled the cracks and crevices of each box, causing me to flip through every notebook, scan over every page and unfold every piece of paper.

And since I've actually grown in to something of a writer, I reboxed it all. Swearing to myself that it would not be lost again. That I would return to Fort Wayne and find permanent homes for it.

Yeah, we'll see about that.


  1. im going through the same thing amanda looking at all my DVDS and books as well plus all my assignments from school and people telloing me i had a major problem and i would never succeed. hahah talk about seabiscuit! i hold onto those just to see how far ive come....

  2. Just had to do this on my last trip to the great IL this past summer. It must be like a rite of passage into adulthood to have to go through boxes of past treasures and turn them into trash - but like you said, no one you gave a Christmas card or chotchkie ever meant to attach the great amount of guilt that seems to come with the question "to keep or not to keep?"