Saturday, April 18, 2009

Nostalgia Tripping

For better or for worse, I save everything people send me. Letters, pictures, cards, drawings, notes passed in class… you name it. Tonight I finally sorted through this stuff with the intent to purge. Some I’ve been holding onto for years. Years. Letters my cousin wrote me in 1985, birthday cards from first grade, letters & cards from when I did an exchange in Japan in 1990, letters, cards and pictures when I went to college for a year in London 1994-5, correspondence from my Japanese host family and of course all the naive, retrospectfully regretful, tragically bitter-sweet or just plain bitter letters I’ve received from former boyfriends over the years. Now some are poetic, sweet and worthy of publishing, but some are obsessive, ridiculous and just plain “uggh”. While rereading, I found myself amazed at what these guys wrote. That I would inspire them to write such things—usually complimentary (and sometimes, not)—ended up making me feel like I’m reading someone else’s letters. Who is this crazy girl? Someone I only vaguely remember yet am. It’s a real mind bender.

I’ve been hanging on to all this stuff but I don’t really know why. There are things I’ll keep because of the sheer novelty of “letters sent.” Rarely do you write your feelings out with a pen anymore, but the other reason is the nostalgia and amazement I feel when I reread some of this stuff. It immediately transports me back to being 15, 16, 18, 21 and what was going on at the time. Events, people and places I’d forgotten have now been refreshed within the perspective of current day. It’s bizarre doing all this time traveling. Ken was doing the exact same thing last night going through stacks and stacks of old pictures he’s stored in the basement closet. The reason for all this nostalgia tripping: with room/storage being at a premium now with “the Wetus” on the way, we are going through all of our belongings and making sure we still really want this stuff around and optimizing our space. Next up is going through all the school papers and projects I also saved for some unexplained reason…

1 comment:

Sarah said...

#1 - I love the name Wetus. You should trademark it.
#2 - I TOTALLY get you pack-rat-ness when it comes to letters, cards, and other sentimental records. We should have some kind of party around this, don't you think? Go through your pile and pull out 3-5 of the best pieces of nostalgia you have and share it???