Cleaning house

I woke up with no big plans. I had let go of anything I’m “supposed” to do last week. I took a shower, dressed out, put on my face, packed my stuff to work at a cafe for the day, scavenged for food to take on my journey. I was all ready to go and then, I took a good look at my bookcase.

They were just sitting there. Like they had been for the year I’d been at this apartment. Just staring at me. Mocking me. Because I had so diligently read about the KonMari method of purging belongings of everything – yes, everything, that didn’t “spark joy” – I highly recommend that book by the way. Anyway, I had told myself the first thing I would do when I had time was implement the Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up. Alas. Three weeks had gone by and I could feel my good intentions mocking me from the spines of the books shoved in and stacked high on the bookcase.

Okay.

Today is the day.

Per the KonMari method, I took all my books and dropped them in the middle of the room. Like so:

Honestly, there weren’t that many – I had left a lot behind when we left the house. I quickly went through and sorted through them. I had a good number of high school reads that I had kept for sentimental reasons. I felt I was done with them – off they went in the discard pile. I was able to shorten my keep pile to about 25 books. We’ll see if I can keep it at this number for a while lol. My Amazon cart says otherwise.

Once I got through the books, my eyes wandered to… the Box of Sentiment. Uh oh. This box contained every note, card, letter, ticket stub, souvenir, memorabilia since high school. I knew there was no turning back. I had to do this thing. In my mind they were just a hazy clutter of things, things that were supposed to mean something at some point.

Challenge accepted.

It was such a trip, going through. I started with the cards, letters, and notes dating back to the 2000’s. I cracked up at some sitting on the floor of the closet.

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That’s… it? Hahahahha. I didn’t understand why he didn’t just write my name and his in Korean. Very cute though.
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My brother must have thought he was going to write a lot – hence the small letters and positioning lol. He was probably got sidetracked with excitement that I was going to out of the house for 4 months.

One in particular, I thought was funny enough to share. I found a card given to me by my crush. It was so endearing and sweet and funny – I can’t even imagine what it had felt like actually receiving the card in 8th grade. I thought it was worth sharing so I took a picture of it and messaged it to the guy, who I hadn’t talked to… since we graduated probably, hoping he’d get a good laugh out of it lol. He did. I think we’ll be catching up in person sometime soon.

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Wish I could show you in the inside hahah.

Some were repeated cards lol. It was interesting matching those up. I wonder how many times I’ve given the same card over the years.

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Some were wrapped up like this one making it a ninja endeavor to undo the folds without tearing it up in frustration lol. I didn’t bother folding them back up.

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Sentimental origami.

I reached out to some other people whose notes and letters had left an impression on me. Meet ups are in order. Very excited! Hahah.

Some letters, I read and was immensely humbled. I was shocked at the amount of love and affection and appreciation I felt – I don’t think I felt it to that extent at the time I received the words. It made me feel ashamed and unworthy – I felt like I had taken some of my friendships for granted, and now was blindsided, in a good way, by the depth and goodness of some of the people I was surrounded by. It made me reflect – was high school as bad as it had seemed in my head? Damn, when I explain high school to people, it was so full of dread, self-loathing, pain. Reading those letters makes me look like a melodramatic angst-filled teen that couldn’t recognize reality lol. Probably because that’s exactly what I was haha!

Then there were the note bags from church retreats. I didn’t even bust those open – too many little pieces. I just kept them. Maybe… in another decade I’ll take a look lol.

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I don’t even remember the arm wrestling match – but I’ll take it hahah.

I remembered this one – someone had left a white envelope with this note and a hundred dollar bill at the gate of my old house. It was a time when I was financially struggling and I still don’t know who this person is. If you’re reading this, thanks – again.

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Not much of a talker/writer this one. Big-hearted though, that’s for sure.

Then I got into non-word items.

This happened in 2008. Nuts. It’s pretty much deteriorated because of sweat…

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This ticket cost $45. How times have changed.

This was taken by Stef after one of our football tournaments. Looks kinda artsy.

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Reflecting on the game and which KBBQ we were going to hit up.

I… did not draw this. This was sketched by Jane. Per my request, she’s wearing a dress I had been eyeing at Windsor for winter formal. I did not purchase the dress. Damn, she’s good, huh.

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Dated 2005 – junior year.

I used to collect rocks from the places I visited. I never labelled them so all I was left with were rocks.

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Maybe they’re all from one place… they look pretty similar lol.

So much sass…

 

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I forget who got me this but they know me pretty well lol.

One of the three years I got a birthday pin at Disneyland, I had used my friend’s friend’s pass on a day that was not my birthday. We had started in California Adventure, got the birthday pin, and everything was going beautifully – I was being hailed everywhere I went by employees, getting free stuff, and generally milking the Disney magic. Then we headed to OG Disneyland. As the lady swiped the card, she wished Grace a happy birthday. After she swiped Sarah’s card, something wasn’t right. Why did Grace have a pass under the name Sarah? She interrogated me on the spot and it was painfully obvious I was not Sarah. We kissed the rest of the day goodbye and headed home lol. Years later I got a real pass for myself, which I will probably never do again haha.

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Happiest place on earth is also very expensive. It was worth it for one year.

This here is a Christmas gift from my brother. Whoever taught him how to knit forgot a couple lessons. I probably taught him lol.

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What is this supposed to be??

I can’t believe I saved this from my three months of hell at Gen. Okay there were good moments but for the most part… I’m not a fan of running around obeying everyone’s every bidding and then smiling and making small talk to make some tip. I think I hated it so much that I was so moved by this note left on a receipt.

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Never again.

Eventually, my floor looked like this. And eventually, I got everything sorted and back in the right place, the right place being the trash can for some items lol.

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So much ish.

All in all, it feels good to get this done. It had been in the back of my head for years. And I was able to get rid of a lot of stuff and clear out my mind as well. It’s truly a trip to go through all the sentimental things. It reminds me where I came from, reminds me that I’m loved, and have been loved this whole time. It reminds me of the places I’ve been, the places my friends have been.

In a weird way, I feel like I’ve gotten a piece of the puzzle and I can move forward. I can’t say that not going through these things would have significantly hindered me but I feel like it gives me perspective. And like I had the chance to go through, process, and appreciate the journey and the people on the way.

What’s next? I don’t know, but seems pretty promising if this is where I’m coming from.

 

 

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