it's amazing what you find when you clean your room. really clean it, not just doing the top three-quarters of the mess. it's what slips into that last quarter among the piles of batteries that may or may not be dead and old pens that are missing their caps that can really surprise you. uncovering all the hidden reminders of days so long past that the memories are fading can really put into light just how much you've changed over the years. i've been living in this room for almost a decade, give or take a year or two, so there are many years worth of stuff piled up in here. i'm a pretty sentimental person, and end up keeping a lot of junk most people would throw away. i am also a major pack rat (a characteristic i like to pretend i don't have) which means even more stuff. going through it all was just... weird.
for example, in a pile of old papers from high school (including every math test from tenth grade forward. even i had to raise an eyebrow at that one) i found this math packet that was half solved by me and half solved by this kid i used to have the biggest crush on for years. he had filled it out one day on the bus in a confusing, rather pointless story that i'm not gonna write out here. but anyway, i haven't seen this kid since our graduation in 'oh six (actually, i think i might have seen him on campus a couple of weeks ago but i'm not sure) or really talked to him aside from a couple of facebook messages a year or so back. i kept a packet just because it had his writing on it, i could pick him out of a crowd from a mile away, and now he's just not in my life at all. and i don't even notice his absence. like a lot of people i used to know. a lot of high school memories were surfacing today.
i also realized that i suck at sending cards. i have an entire pile of thank you and get well cards, signed with little notes in addressed envelopes, that i just never got around to sending. talk about a waste of money. i can't even remember when some of them are from but judging from my handwriting they are nowhere near recent.
oh, and looking at how my handwriting has changed on all the papers was interesting. the fact that i had handwritten essays in junior year surprised me too. so did finding a paper that didn't make me want to scratch my eyes out by rereading it. that rarely happens. (there's this essay i wrote junior year of high school on gone with the wind that i was obsessed with. i thought it was the greatest thing ever written. i can't even look at it now without wanting to take a red pen to it.)
there were magazines i had saved because of some actor/actress/singer on the cover that i couldn't care any less about now.
there were things i had lost years ago like my mini stapler from my freshman year at college and the silly putty i bought for my brothers when they were four and five. they are now nine and ten. i found my high school diploma and tons of old hallmark cards, some not even for me.
and i kept every. single. thing any kid ever drew me. i have tons of stuff from my brothers from over the years, but also drawings and notes from the kids i used to substitute for and girls on my bus. it's crazy.
there were lists of songs i had wanted to download, half of them i never got around to, and statements from my old bank that doesn't even exist anymore.
there's just so much stuff and it's taking forever to get through it all because i have to stop and read everything.
*I Want You to Keep Everything - These United States