I have always had an odd obsession with documenting my life. I have written in a journal since 1994, I have thousands of pictures of me, including hundreds of pictures from my childhood, and I have kept ticket stubs, school IDs, stacks and stacks of school assignments, wood cookies from camp, paintings, drawings, spiral-bound friendship notebooks, notes from friends, foreign money, hotel keys, cards from friends, collections of friends' school/homecoming/prom pictures, smashed pennies, name tags, and Disneyland maps. I'm sure that part of this obsession stems from a million Young Women lessons on journaling/family history/scrapbooking, but part of it comes from this weird sense that if I don't document it, no one will.
In the past couple years, I have become less sentimental. I rarely keep a journal. I don't think twice about tossing ticket stubs and deleting pictures that I don't like. And I've thrown a lot of stuff away. Granted, by "throw stuff away" I mostly mean I scanned all of my school work, school IDs, notes from friends, and ticket stubs and disposed of the original copies. Some gems:
Exhibit A: my Opendiary from high school. You remember Opendiary (RIP?). It was the less trashy, but equally dramatic, Livejournal. Before I deleted my account, I copy/pasted my opendiary into a word document. As I started writing this blog post I decided to read it. I thought it would be amusing and endearing in a silly, high school kind of way. And it sort of was. Except I would replace "amusing" with "horrifying" and "endearing" with "annoying." I'm sure I'm being a little harsh to my 14-year-old self, and maybe if I wait 30 years and read it again I'll have more distance to see it as humorous, but it first made me want to take a red pen to it and scream CAPITALIZE "i" and use some punctuation other than ".. . ." and second reminded me that not all writing has use and meaning.