I’ve always been a bit of a pack rat, which explains why moving is such a chore for me. Every time I get a new house or apartment, there are boxes upon boxes of old papers and schoolwork, books I’ll never get around to read, CDs I haven’t listened to in years, issues of magazines I haven’t subscribed to since 1997, etc.

On one level, I know this stuff is all useless, but it’s still fragments of my life, it’s proof that I existed. And there’s some silly idea that these things might come in handy in the future, as if I’ll ever find a use for those notebooks full of poetry.

I spent part of the weekend at my parent’s house, where I found a box full of old stuff that my mom had put there for me to sort through. I was up until 2:00am or so going through it all. These are just a few of the things I found:

  • Old toys and airplane models
  • Ribbons for memorizing Bible verses in AWANA
  • Posters from Offutt’s open house (my fave event as a kid)
  • A love letter I wrote in high school (and obviously never sent)
  • A notebook full of messages from high school friends, including one from a girl who died my senior year (an event that left huge impressions I still feel from time to time)
  • Old senior photos of people I haven’t seen in 10+ years
  • Some magazines representing my first forays into the world of anime

I also found a couple issues of Honor Students on Acid, or HSOA, a zine that my friends and I put together in high school. I had to chuckle as I read my writing, including my very first reviews. There were also some painfully bad poems, which reminded me of just how much I listened to the Cure back in those days. It was all very “underground” and “anti-establishment,” full of idealism and DIY attitude. We all had codenames (mine was “Digital Anime” — go ahead and laugh), and I remember the spirit that we packed into each issue.

Sometimes it is fun to go through all of that stuff, to reflect and think back. But sometimes it’s much better to move on. If I have one serious flaw, it’s the fact that I spend too much time in the past, regretting previous mistakes and basking in happiness that’s long gone. This isn’t a simple case of me trying to remember my roots. Rather, it’s me worrying that the good times have already passed and it’s nothing but uphill struggles to come.

After I’d gone through the box and taken a few key items (namely those HSOA issues), I packed everything else up and told my dad to throw it all away. It would’ve been a burden to take everything, and I’ve already got enough of those.


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