Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Reasons It's Hard

It's funny how "cleaning out the closet" can stir up so much nostalgia. Today it was a file cabinet, rather than a closet, that did it for me. I was rifling through a bunch of random papers and came across all my old college application documents. Essay drafts, pamphlets and acceptance letters (with that one nasty rejection letter, but we don't think about that one). They really made me think for a while, about whether or not I regretted my decision to attend NYU. I decided I don't regret it, but it took some convincing myself.

I think the nostalgia is a big part of why decluttering is so hard. Maybe for some people it's not hard at all, but maybe those people are heartless jerks. Because I'll tell you, I kept all those letters, even the rejection one, because it was a big part of my life. I'll never forget slaving away on endless paperwork and paying stupid application fees and pouring out my manufactured soul to these colleges like I was worth something more awesome than they could ever dream. So yeah, for the memories, I'll keep those papers. But the important part of going through all the past that has piled up over the years is to draw the line between milestones and mess.

I think my mom and I both have a problem recognizing that line, and the only reason we're getting so much done is that I've become sufficiently more heartless than I used to be, so my cold, bitter tendencies to re-cycle rather than re-member have cleared us of a lot of our paper weight. And I do admit that I'm heartless for some of it! My mom, though, has said that it's been very difficult to let go of my childhood toys and stuffed animals and some of the books I donated.

But in the end, when all's said and done, there's a time when you need to just get rid of your shit.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

suggestion: if you have paper things that you want to keep for the memories, but hate the clutter of, try scanning them, then they can live on forever in your computer ;)