I’m a Hoarder… [not another one]

… Its a fact I’ve come to realize in the past week.

The only thing I ever throw out are wrappers, packing peanuts, and old homework.

I have a hard time letting go of things that meant something to me a long time ago… Letters from penpals when I was 11, notes from sermons at Lamoka when I was 15, Youth Seminar booklets and pens from when I was 17, funeral notices from when I was 21.

I still have my first official business cards- even though it took me 8 months of working at the place before I got my own. I’ve kept them even after two redesigns since then.

I have about $30 million in loose change in my room.. no lie. When I get a chance and count all the change, I’m sure I’ll have enough to pay off my mortgage.

*shudders* Mortgage. That single word is probably the most concise way to explain that you’re an adult.

I’m planning on boxing up my bowling trophies tomorrow- along with my model cars I spent countless hours painstakingly painting and assembling. Models which, in my mom’s merciless acts of cleaning while I was gone each summer, ended up on a shelf that even I can’t reach- and so they each have a dusty sheen.

I have a calendar still on the wall that my sister gave me for Christmas 2007. I made it to April 2008 and then forgot to flip the pages. Being unmotivated in such things as I am, it hangs right above where I spend my waking hours in my room- above the monitor. Worst of all, it features a horridly blue Mustang. The car itself is nauseating enough, why paint it that color?

Also littering my walls I have magazine cutouts of cars, posters of gaming greats (G-Man of HL2 fame, anyone?), the broken picture my camper bought for his mom (only broken through his carelessness, yet redeemed via my wallet for the purchase of a new one), guitars, turkey calls, dog tags, various years-worth of boogers that accumulated in oft-forgotten, rarely seen places (give me a break, I’m a boy), Eagle Scout neckerchiefs, Order of the Arrow sashes…

I have the foam nunchucks that each of the Zomgee Three won years ago at my birthday party celebration somewhere along the line. I have the silliest clothes that come no where close to fitting me, but I can’t bear to part with: the tie dye Chevy Truck shirt my brother gave me (Listen Kevin… I know its Chevy, but tie dye? really?), the Lord of the Rings Marathon that Kari (I think.. I forgot to what degree of perfection the colored glue and markers were applied) made me, the Jungle Book t-shirt I got when I was on the stage crew for yet another Terry Fyke performance (boldly emblazoned with the gawkiest cliche I could think of: The few, the proud, the stage crew), the silk Chinese shirt I won on eBay for a penny (and was shipped express from Hong Kong), and, most meaningful, one of the fleeces I always remember my grandpa wearing before he died.

To be honest, I’m not sure how my life so far has fit into one bedroom. My mom might argue that it hasn’t, as my things routinely spill out into the hall when the floorspace has been dedicated to dirty laundry, but I contend that the end of the hall is legitimately mine. I don’t know how my life will fit into this new house. Yes, there’s a billion times more space, but somehow, all this stuff seems..

irrelevant.

Pardon if I’ve waxed poetic and taken vain drama to a new level, but sometimes, when the reality of something in your life hits, you can’t do anything but write. I hate how it seems so many great things in my life have come and gone, but that’s the nature of living. I finally don’t spend my entire summer thinking about camp and wondering how the staff is doing– if campers’ faces get a bit cloudy when they ask if Tom, Pete, or myself are working “this” year only to find we’re not even in the same state anymore. Its startlingly odd knowing that many of those same campers-turned-workers will be experiencing that for the first time this summer too.

High school has come and gone.. Boy Scouts is but a memory. GCC is barely a blip in my memory, save the 6 months I spent every day trying to impress one girl. RIT seemed to drag on forever, yet I can barely recall the sight of brick building after brick building after brick building. When they found out Tom and I had gone to the same school for a spell, someone asked if we had any classes together. Rather hurriedly, I said “no”, only to realize a few awkward seconds later that we did… and it was the only class that I’ve ever gotten a C in. Well, that (being Politics in Fiction) and Discrete Math III with Yaxmi Gupta (anyone want to venture a guess why I didn’t do well in that one?).

Once again, my apologies if I’ve gone so dark that you’re beginning to feel depressed, but the sharp contrast here is this:

In two weeks, I’ll be living on my own for the first time in.. forever (minus the 2.5 month stints at camp), I’ll be married in 2 months, I’ll be enjoying Hawaii in 2.1 months :D, and, in 40 years, I’ll be yelling at the bratty neighbor kids to get off my lawn.

Sure, the things I’ve collected over the years may seem irrelevant now, but they’ve defined who I am. This process doesn’t stop here though, life is about adding to those memories.. loving.. being loved.. ministering.. praising God for His rich blessings– you know, those clothes that don’t fit but yet you can’t part with them.. those dusty dream cars in miniature scale.. and those letters reminding you of how you’ve touched others’ lives.

12 thoughts on “I’m a Hoarder… [not another one]”

  1. Welcome to adulthood. It’s not too bad most of the time but every once in a while you’ll think back and remember those great times you had when you were younger. Then if you continue thinking you’ll realize that the great times you’re having now are just as good. They’re different experiences with different people and much different sorts of responsibility but they’re still good.

    Also, Yaxmi Gupta was perhaps the worst teacher of all time. Actually I can’t say that, I dropped his class after 2 days and it was because I couldn’t understand a word he said…so who knows if I could have understood him maybe he would have been a great teacher (hint: I doubt it).

  2. Hahaha it sounds like you are in serious need of like 20 scrapbooks BUT your mom can help you out with that!

    Some of those thing are really good to remember so don’t go throwing them all away Use them to kind of Chronicle your faith journey I mean if the funeral notice was of someone you didn’t know toss it BUT if it was something that made you grow in your faith or encouraged you that keep it and seriously have your mom help you. It will be good to show your kids or the bratty neighbors what brought you to where you are today.
    Testimonies and so on are the best ways to share ones faith because it can bring it right home to what others are experiencing.

      1. @Dan, ok so I understand your sentiments..to a certain degree BUT to which I am referring has a different name and a different purpose entirely It’s called faith booking and pretty much it can be a glorified photo album with all the extra stuff without all the pretty extras….or you can make it manly too BUT i don’t really see that happening But really ask your mom!

  3. Well, just thanks! I have prided myself on how well I am handling all this moving and marriage stuff, and you had to go and write that! Lots of chuckles mixed in with those tears of already missing my youngest son. Although it does make it easier knowing that the build up of boogers will finally come to an end. Or maybe just transfer to another location several miles away. Love you always, D.

    1. @ZePuKa, why thank you. My Written Argument teacher at RIT made the comment that my writings are best when they are stream-of-consciousness. I took that as an excuse to not edit myself.

  4. Your “Requiem for Carefree Youth” made me a little sad as I consider my own relentless journey into the realities of adulthood. I’m glad you ended on a positive note though–there’s so much to look forward to! I raise my glass of skim milk and say “Here’s to the rest of our lives!”

  5. There’s no denying you’re a real adult when you have a mortgage. I almost had a breakdown when I realized that. It was worse than getting a “real” job.

    I still have notes from youth seminars and camp chapels too…only recently have I started throwing out homework.

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