Now that I’m finished with university, I’m moving out of my college apartment. Accordingly, I’ve been going through a lot of the things that I’ve amassed since I moved in here three years ago: deciding what to keep, deciding what to toss, and deciding what to donate. This evening I decided to wrangle with my front closet: a haphazard pile of boxes that I’ve been prolonging. I expected to find a family of dust bunnies, a dead bug or two, and maybe a few boxes worth of questionable fashion choices that have followed me back and forth across state lines over the past half decade.
While I did find those things (sans the dead bugs, thankfully), I also ended up finding fodder for a multi-hour nostalgia binge. I won’t delve into a bunch of interesting-only-to-me details of the little, and major, reminders of my past that I found hidden beneath a layer of dust and loving neglect, but I will say that browsing through remnants of old hobbies, successes, failures, loves, and loves lost has made me realize that the only time that I feel like a complete person is when I’m looking backwards. It’s only when I’m knee-deep in yesterdays that I feel like an actual, honest-to-goodness person. Having tangible, physical indicators that I have done things with my life, that I have made progress, that I have hurt, that I have weathered bad times and kept moving forward makes me remember that I am more than the face staring at me in the mirror at present moment.
It’s a good feeling to be reminded that I’m not just where I am in life by happenstance, but rather by careful and deliberate planning. My tastes and interests are not merely traits acquired by a roll of the dice, but rather pearls of knowledge through trial and error. Given that I’m now entering a phase in my life where I’m going to have to make a lot of strategic decisions, its really nice to remember that I’ve done this before and its worked out well.