box number one

I have two huge blue bins that hold everything I've kept before college. I have wanted to go through the boxes for a while..and now I have some time to do it.

Man, I kept a lot of stuff. I'm not a pack rat, exactly, but I do like to keep things. As I've gone through one of the boxes, of course, some things don't mean anything to me anymore like they did when I was 13.

Wondering what I found in just one of my boxes?

Old school papers, artwork (mostly from 12th grade), awards and certificates, so many letters and cards, a million pictures, my pencil collection (oh, yeah...I had a pencil collection), programs, old negatives from my 8th grade film class, poi balls from 6th grade dance, science fair trophies, every ribbon I ever won, sand from mexico, my state quarter collection (and now I'm thinking I'm rich!)....

so many things that have all meant something to me but now...I am not sure what to do. I mean, most of this stuff is useless and sits in a blue box in the back closet and we've had to move it 39509 times already...but looking through everything has brought back good memories.

I have a huge pile of things to scan (that's the most practical thing...because I don't even want most of the hard copies, but I want some record of them which is why I've kept them) and a garbage pile...but there are somethings in between.

Journals. I have a million. And what to do with them? I would never want anyone, not even my great great great grandchildren, reading my stupid and love-struck thoughts. Especially as I entered into dating years. I don't even want to read those ones, and you can bet Dave doesn't want to...nor do I want my children reading them (heh) what to do? I mean, the journals are parts of me and a record of my adolescence, but if I don't want anyone to ever (ever) read them, what's the point?

I know we like to read journals from pioneers and past journals are useful for writing historical fiction, but trust me. Not happening.

Have you have the same problem? What have you done/want to do/think I should do? I don't really want to throw them away (and so I probably won't)...but thoughts?

Thoughts on any of the old things we drag around because at one point they meant something and were a part of us?


Shanna Selin said...

I had the same problems with my old journals. I cringed every time I would read them. I think I have thrown at least a few away and if I haven't thrown all of the ones from ages 12 to 16 away, I'm going to next time I come across them.

On the other hand, we got a kick out of reading one of my mom's old journals from 5th grade.

super awesome kt said...

So, this won't help with the journals, but, I would definitely recommend taking pictures of collections that you don't want to keep (things like toys). Then you still have a record of them, but don't have to tote them around with you for the rest of your life :)

As for the journals, one thing to consider is maybe going through one a week (or one a month), finding a few salient excerpts (some of them might be pretty funny, after all!) and either scan (to get an idea of the handwriting), or abridge into your current journal (or compile into a digital one) so that you get a nice slice of the age / experience.

Good luck!

Jules said...

Amanda, what if you wrote a current journal on the computer that started with an except stupid as it may be from adolescence (who among us doesn't have those? ) and then add your own commentary. Give your more me mature thoughts and and hindsight wisdom on it. Laugh at yourself. And let the words show how the young girl came to be a grown woman. I really have no idea. But don't throw them out.

Jody Lynn said...

I never keep a journal. I think I've started and stopped keeping one over the years, so I really admire that you have so many. Don't throw them away! They might help you some day. Like when your kids are teenagers and you have no idea what to do with them. Reading your journal might help you understand more about what they're going through, and it will bring up some old funny memories too!

Bruce said...

Or hang onto your journals. Your feelings about sharing them may change later. It sounds like your descendants would totally love to read them, and maybe you'll chill out about sharing them when you've put a few more years between you and them.