August 1st 2012
Story originally written and experienced: May 9th 2011
These boxes are such assholes.
The real world is waiting for me and I’m trapped in
“Clean out your room and take only what matters, or no dinner!” the mom says. Now, I don’t normally function well off of threats. But when taco salad is involved…
I’ll do just about anything.
Fine. FINE. Fine. I’ll start.
I was moving to New York City in 2 days. I graduated…yesterday. And I can’t very well take everything with me. That doesn’t make very much sense does it? I was off to make my dreams come true, whatever those dreams might be…and I needed to take exactly what I needed, and nothing more.
As I began to pEEk into each box I could feel the social standard of what does and does not matter influence every item I stumbled upon, like a commentator narrating my very first garage detox.
Box 1: Label: Toys. Reach your hand in the box, Olive.
Retrieve a beanie baby. Oh yes. Who would have guessed that plastic bean-stuffed animals would give Barbie a run for her money? You used to collect 50 of them. Mediocre for the average 8 year old of this era…if you ask me.
You washed them (not allowed) fed them (pointless) and tucked them into bed (so necessary). They taught you how to care for someone other than yourself. Talk about getting your money’s worth.
Pull out another Beanie baby.
Geezus. Okay, forget it. Dump the box. Done. A sea of “Ty” merchandise flood the floor anddd a few Barbies…Ah yes. The Barbie. There she is. Your favorite…Oreo Barbie. Such a fantastic/misleading idea. Made you believe you could eat a whale amount of oreos and look that good. She should have been named sky high metabolism Barbie. Okay. You’re over it. Move on. Push the box to the side. You miss these memories. I know you do. But you’re not a child anymore. Grow up.
Box 2: Label: School work. Reach your hand into the box. Retrieve your first grade report card. F.
Who gets an F in the first grade? No one. No wait. You. Why have you not thrown this away? Oh yeah, because it’s funny. No wait. It’s hilarious. Next. Pull out another sheet of paper. 102% on 6th grade Social Studies exam.
Do I need this? You absolutely need this. How else will people know how awesome you were at the age of 12? Good point. Next. Pull out another sheet of paper. September 11th story. 7th grade assignment. This is the first real story I ever wrote. Right well, this is a sad and arguably depressing story. So cliché. Hey remember when you got an F in the 1st grade? Yeah, that’s still funny. Move on. Push the box aside. You like to see how far you’ve come. I know you do, but you’re better now.
Box 3: Label: Awards. Dip your hand in the box.
Retrieve a tangled stream of medals. Gold medals, silver medals, bronze medals. Lots of bronze medals. Remember, you didn’t get 3rd place that many times, in gymnastics if you weren’t first or second, everyone else got a bronze medal. Sucks for your actual 3rd place. Dip your hand in again. Gold medal. 2006 District bar champion. Good work! Now put it back in the box. Dip your hand in again. Ribbons. 1st-11th place ribbons. Maybe if you throw out the 4th-11th place ribbons anyone else going through this box will think you’re a superstar. Besides 11th place is pretty impressive. I’m kidding. Move on. Push the box aside. You like to feel really accomplished and proud of yourself . I know you do, but that’s all in the past. Grow up.
Box 4: Label: Memories. Open the last box.
Hello fully expected high school dance photos at the top of the pile. Good to see you again awkward memories of weird dancing and unfashionable attire/ some of the best nights of my life. No. Push aside the weird times and continue to sift. More photos. Faces of old friends, old flings, outfits that should have never been allowed, concerts, magnificent places. With each passing photo my stomach sinks a little deeper. These faces. These memories. They were once so lively and now so vivid. I look so happy in these photos but I can barely remember why. Shits getting emo. No more boxes. Push the box aside. In fact get rid of all of them. You miss these people, I know you do. But most of them aren’t around anymore, most of them don’t care. They’re just memories. Grow up.
My thoughts were broken as my mom forgivingly called me downstairs for Taco Salad. Win.
But before I left my tower of boxes….I stacked them all together, brought them inside the house, grabbed a sharpie marker, and relabeled.
First box. I crossed out
Toys and wrote The best times I’ve ever had.
Next box. I crossed out
School work and wrote Where my imagination began.
Next box. I crossed out
Awards and wrote 200 reasons why I should feel proud of myself.
Last box. I crossed out
Memories and wrote “The people I never stopped loving”.
Maybe now I’ll think twice before I think about throwing away my past. Because without the old, I’d never have the new. Time for Tacos.