I don't consider myself a hoarder. Clothes, household items, magazines, clutter-y stuff. . . all those I can get rid of easily. Off to Goodwill you go!
But. I'm kind of a memory hoarder. I found a box in our attic while looking for my passport the other day. Inside I found a treasure trove of STUFF from my early 20s: from my senior year of college to my first years in Chicago. I don't think I'd opened it since we moved to this house 7 year ago, so it felt like a time capsule.
Full of notebooks, old photos and postcards (I was already a collector of weird old stuff, even 10 years ago), letters, pictures, art projects, meeting notes, phone numbers, post-its. . . you name it, I kept it.
This little metal case originally held chocolates. When I opened it, it literally spilled with stuff. Photos, bus tickets, lire, business cards, those free advertising postcards they had at all the bars in Rome.
Such a random set of photos I found in this box: childhood pictures, photos my mom sent of relatives, and some college photos (that group shot is my Rome classmates and I at a buffalo farm where they made fresh mozzarella). I found that little playing card on the ground in a park near the Tiber River.
One of my little robots. Katie Licht: drawing things with eyepatches since 2002!®
A "family photo" my friends and I had taken at the Wal Mart photo studio in Iowa City.
I saved the case stickers on all the CDs I bought. I either put them into my notebooks or stuck them on my car's dashboard. Don't CDs seem like so long ago?
I found a few lists in these notebooks that are either comforting or disheartening. Comforting in the knowledge that I really haven't changed much. Disheartening in the fact that I'm still working towards some of these goals (write more letters! make more art! how many times have I written those things in a to-do list?). I really like the last one there: "Figure out what happened to my youthful self confidence."
No, that reading list is NOT too aggressive, not at all, 22 year old self.
I also find it reassuring that even in my chaotic early 20s, I was searching for discipline: "run & attend church regularly."
Nothing like Joni Mitchell lyrics doodled in a work notebook to perfectly encapsulate what my life was like at age 22.
And this: a polaroid from my 23rd birthday lunch with my co-workers.
I think my plan now is to put the lid back on and not open it again for another 7 years. In the meantime, there's at least half a dozen boxes in the attic or my parents basement full of the same kind of stuff. I just can't bring myself to get rid of it, but who knows what will happen to all of it? Will my kids or grandkids want it? I like to think that maybe I'll keep it and donate it all to a thrift shop 50 years from now, and make some vintage-loving girl's head explode.