Saturday, February 11, 2017

Reminders in Basements

I was cleaning my stuff from the basement of my parent's house that had been sitting there for probably six years. I haven't lived in this house for the last eight years but it's amazing how every time I go back, I find more of my things than I'd like to accept. Most of them are books, old memorabilia, old clothes, knick knacks, and what not, and some things that my mother has just saved from my childhood, like my drawings and writings and published articles. But those don't count because she has made it abundantly clear that's her property and not mine. I am okay with that. Less things for me to clean.

I used to be the one for holding on to stuff. Perhaps that's why I have so many things sitting in this basement. I don't  know when it changed, but I could really care less about a lot of things now. What should have been a road down memory lane, seemed more like looking at someone else's life. When I looked at those things, it was as if I was looking at them for the first time. Term papers from high school, journals with emotions poured on them that I don't remember existed, paintings I am certain drawn by someone else, photos of a girl that looks nothing like me, with people I barely remember. Training manuals and textbooks I learned nothing from. Perhaps the only thing I remembered and saved were cards and letters and some books. Perhaps those were the only things that really mattered. That ever really matter.

Dylan who was helping me, on the other hand, was utterly fascinated with everything. Reading every paper I wrote, and smiling at every silly journal entry, and simultaneously being horrified at how quickly I was putting paper through the shredder. At one point we almost got into an argument over which things should be thrown and which shouldn't. I am still quite certain that he hid a few things from me, which may surface later.  It's amazing how our silly lives we don't even remember can be so fascinating to others.

I am not saying that the part of my life contained in this basement was a waste or was a bad time in my life. No. None of that. It was just ordinary with it's ups and downs. I held on to things because I thought that years from now I will somehow look back at this time so fondly and somehow nostalgia will be so comforting. But the truth is, its not. It's either full of regrets, or full of longing or in my case, it's full of, really, nothing. The fact is, I have forgotten. I don't feel the emotions looking back at my high school days I was hoping to feel when I was in high school. Things aren't as important. Things aren't even as complicated. All I have now is a basement full of crap and a day full of cleaning that I could have spent doing something else. Lighten your loads, people. The important memories, you'll always remember. You won't need reminders for that.

6 comments:

  1. Basements by virtue of it remaining hidden from visitors'eyes tend to harbour all unwanted or to be stored items very much like our minds. Decluttering at periodic intervals is often thought of but rarely done partly due to laziness or lack of urgency.Many of the items there lose their relevance or the emotions attached with them.They become scraps for kabadiwala

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  2. Nostalgia makes me feel helpless. There's a longing for something that you don't even want to go back to, really. I have a closet full of memories in my parents home and I don't like to go through it because of the way it makes me feel. I should get rid of it one of these days. Hmm.

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    Replies
    1. I miss reading blogs. I'm glad you write. :)

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  3. The very same thing happened to me ... I kept so many things from my childhood, teen-hood, college, university etc. And I were fond of them up until few years ago .. now they just don't hold that 'value' any longer ... so from this observation of yours and mine .. I scientifically conclude this change of heart has something to do with either getting over 30 or getting married .. or both :D

    did I say it's good to have you back :)

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  4. Hold onto the good stuff - you'll be glad you did when you're older.

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  5. Which reminds... I should be getting myself a shredder! Heyyy, thanks for this timely piece. :-) Loving it.

    ReplyDelete

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