A few days ago, my mom called me. She had found 3 boxes full of my junk from years ago.

I picked them up last night, brought them home and immediately started rummaging.

Box 1: This was the most intriguing box of them all. In it, I found old notes. Notes written by me and people that I used to know when I was 13. I couldn’t believe some of the things that I was reading…. the way we talked, the things that we talked about.. The even more striking feeling was remembering writing them. The flood that came over me when I unfolded those hundreds of pieces of paper.. What was I doing???? From what I remember being like, to actually READING what came from my young mind, the two versions of me that I was seeing were nothing alike. Reality vs Memory.

I was an odd kid.

Box 2: In this box, I found old pictures. A whole folder from the fifth grade trip that we took to Camp Grady Spruce. I had marked them all up with a blue sharpie, and added notations to the back of each and every picture. I added sticky notes to the ones I had attachments to. I remember doing so, and I remember exactly why.

I found journals as well. Tons of them. Journals with poems, upon poems, upon poems. Journals with letters to people I used to know. Journals with.. super heartfelt stuff. It was a pretty fun little journey to read my emotions from almost ten years ago.

Box 3: This box was the plainest of them. In it, I found old pillows and blankets from my teenage years. Presents from friends and family. Nonetheless, just random mementos.

After spending an hour or so going through all these things, it got me thinking. Everybody insists that hoarding is a bad thing.  Well, I’m starting to think otherwise. (Just remember self-control!) I have held onto things my entire life, and I am starting to believe that this can actually be therapeutic in some forms and ways.

“Therapeutic, how?”  Great question. Here’s how:

Remember when I said that the feelings/memories of writing those notes came back? Well, for me, that showed me where I was to where I am now. I know the type of person I was raised up to be. I know the type of person I was, and I know the type of person that I am today. Through all of the things that I have held onto, I can reach myself on another level. I can reach into my past and view my progress as a human being on not only memories, but by my own keepsakes and words. I find that to be pretty incredible.

This being said, if you are fortunate enough to have memories put in a box somewhere around your life, take a look some time. You may be amazed by just how much you DO change.

 

Thank you for reading,

Ash

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3 thoughts on “What I’ve Learned From Being a Hoarder

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