Cleaning out my closet

We spent today on a few deep cleaning projects. Kev cleaned out the front closet… actually it was more like throwing things out and handing me things he didn’t know what to do with. While I was trying to organize some things in the living room.

We had moved the living room around last week and also got rid of an antique desk I had that collected everything!

As I try to find logical places for computer supplies, office supplies and assorted other crap, I was cleaning out some drawers that have had stuff in them forever.

I don’t know why, but I am a packrat. I’ve tried to figure it out, but I can’t. On occasion I get in the mood to toss stuff and when I do, I really try to take advantage.

I started going through one of my file drawers today and I ran across a folder with old love letters in it. Not from anyone in particular, actually it’s most of the letters I received from the time I was 16 until I was in my 20’s or 30’s. I didn’t throw them out. What the fuck, people?… I. didn’t. throw. them. out.

I am so happily married; I could make you puke talking about it. I KNOW I will be married to Kevin for the rest of our lives. Yet, I didn’t throw them out. I don’t get it. I don’t know what I gain from keeping them. I don’t know what I will lose by throwing them out. I just don’t get my emotional attachment to those letters. It’s not just the love letters. I also ran across a file from 1983, when I tried to get into the U.S. Air Force. Twenty-four years ago.

24 years.

I re-read the file, but I didn’t… couldn’t throw it out.

I was 20 years old and trying to get into the Air Force. I scored in the 97th percentile on my ASVAB test and there were six openings that were available to me. As a female, I wouldn’t even have been considered without a score over 93. As I started through the paperwork process (after the test), I came across a question that asked about something that occurred in my past. I had to be honest. I was told I couldn’t get into the Air Force, but the Army was an option. I didn’t want to be in the Army, I wanted to be in the Air Force. Lots of paper shuffling and letter writing ensued. I tried to get a waiver. Even with my high scores, I couldn’t get that waiver. Obviously, I never became a member of the military. I never became a helicopter repair-person. It wasn’t meant to be, and I get that. More importantly, I accept that.

That chapter in my life is long since closed, yet I cannot throw the file away. It was a deeply emotional period of my life, but it was almost a quarter of a century ago.

Still, the file sits in my filing cabinet.

What part of our beings holds on to these past artifacts?
Is it a fear of forgetting?
Is it a fear of losing part of me as a person?
Do I keep things to reflect on how far I have come as a person?
Why do I think I would be losing part of myself by getting rid of some things?

I certainly am not the kind of person that lives in the past, and this part of my being baffles me.


One the upside: look at the cute pink hat I Kev found in the closet.
Day 24 - cleaning out my closet



  1. distracted spunk Said:

    I always think it’s fascinating to go through cards and old letters from high school and college. I found one card that said “Good luck with —-!” and the guy I’m currently seeing is named —. I freaked out and thought I got a message from the future, and how could my cousin know that I would be with a guy named — before realizing I had a crush on a guy with that name.

  2. I still have old letters from “suitors” (that word makes me sound like I’m, oh, I don’t know, turning seventy but I don’t know how else to call them). I don’t know why I keep them, really. I guess it’s just an obsessive need to keep records of my life. Also, they’re quite funny, especially the poetry.

  3. daisies Said:

    i heart that pink hat!!!

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