Find all the old stuff that if you are a normal person, is probably in your parents’ garage/attic/basement/your old room. Unless you are like me and your old room became your sister’s room which is now the yoga/granddaughter room and your parents made you take back all of your stuff, in a way that was non-negotiable, in other words they paid to have all that stuff shipped to you when they realized you are probably going to live a million miles away for the foreseeable future which is hard to say out loud but really who are we trying to kid.
So you get all the boxes and you’re like “OMG what is all this stuff!?”
You find your eighth grade yearbook, your old sticker book that you and your brother co-owned in 1984 containing a mix of My Little Pony and Transformers stickers and a lot of scratch-n-sniffs that totally don’t smell anymore, dozens of wallet size prom pictures of you and someone you all but forgot about, a charm necklace, ticket stubs, play bills, college acceptance letters, the paper machet puppet you made in the third grade, and letters.
Lots and lots of letters. So many letters that you start to think maybe you got hit on the head really hard and don’t remember that you used to be a celebrity because from the looks of all these stacks of letters you’d swear you had a fan club.
But as you dig through each and every letter you see that indeed these were not fans but mainly friends and relatives, minus the unsigned letter you got in your box in high school that was creepy, wierd, and threatening, which you did not know who it was from then and still don’t know now so you finally throw it away, 13 years after the fact. But other than that its pretty much Warm Fuzzy City. Note after handwritten note bearing sentiments like “I miss you!”, “I love you”, and “I can’t wait to see you again!” And some of them weren’t even from your mom. There’s ones that say “I am so glad we became friends.” Some even comment on specific attributes; “I love your wierd sense of humor!” or “You make me laugh, I will miss being roommates.” You find letters from people you forgot you even liked enough to exchange letters with. You find a letter from your little sister written from summer camp ca. 1992 with an urgent P.S., stating “Tell mom and dad I want a trampoline for my birthday!! OK??” You’re laughing as you tear through letter after letter. Except when you’re reading all the ones from your late grandmother that typically begin “My dearest, precious granddaughter…” and then you are bawling your eyes out. Which intensifies as you find the birthday card from your parents where your dad writes how glad he is that you finally moved back to Rhode Island. And then you are drowning in an ocean of homesickness and wish Boulder could just switch places with Attleboro. So you leave to go put your wash in the dryer because you can’t take it anymore but when you return to the living room you see several shapeless ill defined stacks of letters to keep strewn about the floor and you realize you are going to have to figure out a storage system for all these letters (which you may or may not ever look at again and even though you know that you probably won’t, find that irrelevant as there is no way you are throwing these away) but you have to leave because you have a 3 o’clock bike fit appointment and you know you are going to have to come home to these amorphous piles and eventually deal with them. Ok so now you feel kind of bad and not so good anymore. But you know that whenever you have a chance to get these organized and put them in some clear stackable Sterlite containers from Target you are definitely going to feel good again.