What was meant to be a quick, half-hour tidying up ended up being several hours of reminiscing. I went through a lot of my stuff several months ago, but I pretty much steered clear of my locker. The only thing I did with it was move it on top of my dresser. But today I finally accepted that I was going to have to clean the thing out so that my books could have a place to call home.
For years, my locker has been my "junk drawer." It has its very own door, so it is so easy to just throw stuff in there that I'm not sure what to do with and then shut the door really fast. Based on what I found in there, I don't think I have cleaned out the locker for at least ten years. Most of it was just junk—empty CD cases, worksheets from middle school that I was sure would help me in the future, useless certificates that I was so proud of eons ago, string, gum wrappers, a few things that I couldn't name—but there were several pieces of junk that brought a smile to my face along with a flood of memories:
- Some notes Jessica wrote me in middle school that managed to survive several purges. Ah, writing notes was so much fun. Too bad we never wrote anything worth keeping. Usually we just said "I'm bored" or "I hate this class." And then there were all of the obligatory words that we had to write in big, bubble letters. Good times.
- A silvery purple gel pen that still works! I'm going to use it the next time I write in my journal. I'm excited.
- Several spiders. But that's nothing new.
- A cross-stitch needle. I can't even count how many of those that I have lost over the years, and I find it somewhat odd that I managed to find one in the clutter of my locker. Whoever said finding a needle in a haystack was impossible?
- A black army dude for our Risk game (who still had his head attached). In honor of finding our precious MIA man, me and Kin played a game of Risk and I won. All is right in the world.
- Pictures. I have kept pretty good track of my pictures over the years because I have always enjoyed scrapbooking, but a few pictures still got lost in my locker. And I'm kind of glad, because there is nothing quite so fun as looking at old pictures you've never seen before. And I found my scrapbook that I made when I was like 11—I got double prints from my camera that year and I kept one set of pictures for my memory book and used the other pictures to satisfy my creative appetite. I cut out everyone's heads and glued them on to someone else's body. I even replaced a basketball with Danielle's head. I was a weird kid. (Actually, I haven't changed a whole lot—while I was looking through the pictures I immediately started planning a new mix-and-match scrapbook, only this time using Photoshop rather than scissors and glue.)
- Packets and stashes from my maturation program in 5th grade. Yeah, I'm pretty sure I don't need to refer to those anymore . . .
- Odds and ends from my senior year of high school.
- Several stories that I wrote when I was a teenager. None of them are finished, and most of them are stupid, but I kept a few of them for future reading material.
- A huge folder of band music from middle school. Pretty sure all of these copies were illegal, but I just couldn't bear to part with them at the time. However, seeing as I don't even have a flute anymore, I threw that folder away without too much hesitation.
Well, sort of.
I still have tons of stuff that I just couldn't get rid of—porcelain dolls and figurines, little-league softball trophies, old cameras and bouncy balls, birthday cards I received when I was in 2nd grade, an aluminum balloon that Vikki gave me for my 13th birthday (which still hasn't deflated, by the way), my DARE paraphernalia, artwork I created in middle school (I am definitely not an artist, but I am still proud of what I was able to scribble in my middle-school art classes), my huge Snow White puzzle, my stuffed animals, and the Wacky Wednesday book Tyrel made me when he was really little.
But those pieces of junk are still treasures to me. Maybe when I do the final deep clean before I get married I'll throw out my old teddy bears as heartlessly as I threw out my 3rd grade coloring book today, but until that day, my room will be stocked full of books, clothes, aphgans, dolls, and most importantly, memories. I love my room.