Under the staircase storage, I found boxes upon boxes of paper. Papers from the first day of school in the US until the last day of college! That’s a lot of years. Book reports, quizzes, tests, class notes, report cards, elaborate research papers, short funny stories, mandatory journaling… on and on it goes. WHY did I keep all these crap!
Chuck’em all you say. Ah that would be very easy, except a few fancy schmancy teachers and professors along the way thought that it would be a great idea to use social security # as the ID. So I painstakingly went through several boxes of crap, crap that I don’t know how to do or understand anymore, like organic chemistry or calculus or mass transfer, just so I can keep my ssn out of the recycling bins.
I scanned through some of the papers. Throughout the years, I wrote about (breast) cancer, teen suic!de, teen pregnancy, (human) cloning, IRC. Topics that were and still are very close to my heart. In one of my “leisure elective” classes, Human Development and Family Studies (where they talked a ton about sex), I wrote down that eventually I would like to have 4 children. Yea. We’ll just have to see about that.
It’s very interesting to skim through my previous lives and see how far (or backwards, if you’re looking at the mass transfer and lab reports) I’ve come mentally. I have 2 or 3 more boxes of papers to go through before I move onto the bedrooms stuff. Ugh.
One of the remaining boxes contains all the letters I’ve received from my friends in China in the years following my family’s immigration to the US. I was unable to speak or comprehend any English. There were no other Chinese at my school. My friends back in China were lifesavers; they literally saved my sanity, having moved to a strange land on the opposite side of the globe and need to adapt immediately. I know I couldn’t and wouldn’t have gone on without them. Friends are very important, but in the teenage years, friends are all there is in life. I am wondering what I should do with all those letters.. It’s a huge file-size box full. I am still keeping touch with 2 of my friends, interestingly both of them have left China to other countries as well, and thankfully now it is communication via e-mails and phone calls instead of writing letters. My Chinese writing skills have found a permanent vacation spot somewhere else unheard of.
When I was a kid, I thought time went really slow. Now that I’m older (30! I used to think 25 was old!) the years seem to be going by faster and faster. Pretty soon we’ll all be white haired and toothless old farts looking at our school yearbooks wondering what the big fuss was all about.