I confess. I'm a sentimental packrat. I have the most difficult time getting rid of things that have a good memory attached to them. This is why I don't supply all that much to the local used bookstore. To part with a book I loved reading pains me. I have school papers and birthday cards and little mementos packed into every closet. This drives my husband crazy. He has the opposite problem, he throws away things then asks questions later, often getting rid of things that are truly important.
However, this weekend I discovered that my husband should just blame my mother. I called her on Saturday, and she was spending her morning organizing her attic--a brave task in Louisiana summer heat, let me tell you. She started listing all the things she had for me and asking me if I wanted her to keep them or not. (Of course, being her daughter, I wanted her to hold on to most it.) But as she made her list, it got me to thinking. The things in her attic said a lot about me.
We all think that as we get older, we grow and mature and change. We move past our crazy teen years and become responsible adults. However, beyond the obvious, do we really change that much? Are the dreams of our childhood and teen years so different from the core of who we are now?
Case in point, here are some of the items my mother found:
Cabbage Patch dolls, Pound Puppies, and a Strawberry Shortcake doll collection--okay, this doesn't prove much except that I was a child of the 80s.A box of New Kids on the Block memorabilia--Point and laugh if you will, I still love them anyway. Guess that hasn't changed.High school term papers I did well on--yes I'm a nerd, stillA whole box of vampire books--Proving that, yes, I loved vampires WAY before Twilight.Boxes and boxes of other books--definitely hasn't changedThe first novel I ever wrote--I was so excited about this. I wrote it at 15 and the only remnant I had was a floppy disc that is password locked. I, of course, can't remember the password. I've tried including all the names of my high school crushes, movie stars I loved, the pets names, everything. Apparently, I wanted to be so secretive about it I came up with a really excellent password. So my mom finding a hard copy was like finding treasure. I can't wait to take a look at it and get insight into my teen brain. I'm sure it will be laugh out loud horrible writing, but I'm so curious.
So looking at all this makes me realize that maybe as teens we know more about ourselves than we think. After college and degrees and trying out different careers, I've landed right back where I started--writing and reading (and going to New Kids concerts). I don't regret going the career direction I did. I love that field too and had great experiences, but part of me thinks I should have trusted myself more when I went to college and pursued the English route. Sometimes I can be too practical.
So how about you? Do you think the core of who you are has changed dramatically since you were younger? If your mother were a packrat like mine, what would you find in her attic?