I've got four or five tote boxes that have traveled about 5,000 miles with me, and they're full of stuff that I've saved over the years. Keep in mind that I haven't added to them much in many years, I just haven't really thought about them at all. Today I was thinking about them because they're just taking up space in my garage, and I need less stuff in my life.
I went through two of them today, and tossed a ton of stuff. I had hand written notes from girls in high school, and autograph books from grade 6 and 8. That's 1985 and 1987, by the way. I actually had the remnants of my braces. What the fuck was I thinking? Not sure why I saved all of the issues of Rolling Stone from 1996 either. Some things I tossed despite being novel, like the envelope of letters sent by my grade 9 science classmates in Cleveland, sent after I moved out to Brunswick by my teacher. That was a hard transition, and it was a sweet gesture.
I found other things that I obviously would not throw away, like my high school and college diplomas, photos from grade school and little creative things I did. I actually typed up pages for a Voltron "choose your own adventure" style book, with illustrations. Can you believe that? No one gave a shit when I was a kid, but I was pretty proud of myself. I also found some audio carts that played stuff inside the defunct Richfield Coliseum, which I found as they were tearing down the building. My original Optimus Prime Transformer toy was in there too, along with a few other robots. Oh, there was a big stash of high school senior pictures too, which were a big hit on Facebook for "throwback Thursday."
I wonder why we hold on to stuff like this. Like I said, a lot of it I honestly didn't even realize I still had, but at some point in my 20's, I must have thought it was important. It's funny how we think about our past and how it links to our identity.