Photographic Memories

I went ballistic on my bookshelf this weekend.  I was feeling overwhelmed by the amount of stuff in my apartment and the amount of work I still had to do.  I cleaned some, then went for a run, but it still wasn’t enough.  So, I proceeded to pull three paper bags worth of books, DVDs, and videos from my shelves, and hauled them to Half Price Books.  The whole endeavor freed up a bookshelf, which I hope to sell on Craigslist in the next couple weeks, and left me with $32 in my pocket.  I’ve never gotten that much money at HPB, so I was pretty content.

Getting rid of all of those books is just the beginning.  Part of my journey towards minimalism is letting go of stuff that I don’t need.  Tonight I started to tackle the shoe boxes full of “memories” that I’ve kept since college.  There were a lot of things that seem silly to hold on to (I mean, do I really need a Rocky Horror Picture Show postcard or my ticket stub from Vanilla Sky?), but there were a few things that I still had a hard time parting with.  These two homemade Valentine’s cards from my co-op days, for example.

My solution: photograph ’em and ditch ’em.  Not an original idea, really, but hopefully one that will help me declutter and move on.

The card on the right was from Valentine’s Day, 2004.  That one was hard to let go of because it marked the start of my most poetic romance: Zack.  Zack was four years younger than me, but loved poetry, the gilmore girls, and converse, and I couldn’t stay away.  How my taste has shifted.

Here is the note he wrote:


“I am so grateful that, so far, all I’ve had to do is be here and listen to find out more about the fascinating person you are.  I felt bound to you, too, last night & it remains.


By 2005 I was living in an apartment on my own, working on my student teaching.  This card was a bit more interesting because, by that time, I had friends at the co-op who really knew me.  No more of those “you seem sweet” yearbook b.s. notes.  This one from Brooke is pretty representative.


“Julia Schoolia,

Ms. Garcia is a foolia

My love for you is nothing but trulia

Perhaps for dinner, we’ll eat taboulia

I hope in Oregon it’s really coolia

With any luck I’ll get into PSU-lia

And now my poem is throughlia

<3, Brooke”

Why couldn’t I just let this shit go?  I think I get particularly attached to words.  If someone takes the time to write something for me, even if it’s silly, it’s hard for me to let it go.

The final discovery I made in my shoe box archaeological dig was from college: an “Aggies for Aberchrist” flyer.  It still kind of cracks me up.


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