Tuesday, June 19, 2012
I save everything, or why it pays to be a hoarder
I save everything. I save the obvious things like journals, birthday cards, letters (remember those?) from old friends, and matchbooks and the not-so-obvious and hardly ever necessary things like clothes I'll never wear again, concert tickets, and (very) old magazines. I can't stand a mess so obviously I've got these two opposing sides of my personality constantly warring with each other - my crazy need to save things "just in case" and my constant need to declutter my living space and my mind. I've gotten a lot better over the years and especially since I had the baby but it should come as no surprise that the one thing I will always save is a photograph. I take photos because I love to hold on to memories. Even unpleasant memories serve a purpose -- a broken heart, a missed opportunity, a fight with a friend -- and maybe that's why I feel like I can't ever get rid of anything. I like knowing where I've been and how far I've come and I like to think that even though I've made mistakes and even have some regrets, I've grown because of them.
The other day I was cleaning out my hard drive for what seems like the millionth time and I came across a folder of images from November 2008. This picture was taken shortly before this one and I got to thinking about that night. It had been over a year since I left my job and I was feeling out of sorts with the holidays coming and my new career at somewhat of a crossroads -- I was either going to keep trying or give up on this path altogether. I was waiting for a friend in the rain on this cold night in New York and I felt like everything was a bit of a blur. The photos were too literal and I took a look at them a few days later and decided I hated them. I tucked them away into a folder in the abyss that is my computer and it's funny because it was a strange time for me then and looking back now I can't believe how much things have changed and how happy I am that I kept going and pushed myself to today.