Cardboard Time Machine

After a visit to my parent’s house back in the summer, they sent me home with a cardboard box full of mementos that I’d left behind years ago. I had some idea what I’d find in there. My baby book, some high school yearbooks, my diplomas, and some other assorted achievement certificates from my past.

What I did not expect to find was letters.

Tons and tons of letters. There was several shoeboxes full. It seems I’d saved every single card, letter and postcard anyone had sent me between the age of 15, though my late 20s. Of course, they stopped there because by then, nobody wrote letters anymore.

There are countless letters written by my best friend during our years at University. Some of them are pages, and pages long. It’s a stark contrast from our correspondence now. These days we communicate almost exclusively by text message – a few sentences here and there, often devoid of vowels.

Some other relics from past included:

A handwritten note from a university roommate I’d barely gotten to know in the year we lived together. She’d left me her parent’s address and told me to keep in touch.

We did. Almost 20 years later, she’s one of my closets friends.

There’s a sweet card from another friend, declaring that we’d be friends forever. A few years later, we had a falling out, and haven’t spoken since.

There’s a piece of notebook paper with the name and phone number from a boy I liked from University. We never ended up dating, but we remain friends.

There was a sealed envelope that contained a bunch if poetry written by me and a friend in the 9th grade. I’ve since resealed the envelope. It was bad. Really, really bad.

There are postcards from my friend’s spring break vacations and years lived abroad, postmarked from all over the world…

…and concert tickets from venues that no longer exist.

Going though this stuff was a bit of an emotional journey. There was a lot of cringing. It was like reliving my tragically awkward adolescence all over again, although it was more fun from this distance.

The best part is, I don’t even remember saving these things. I had no idea this time capsule was buried on a shelf under my parent’s basement staircase.

When I first brought this box home, thought I’d just look though it and toss it. I couldn’t though. There’s just too much history in here to just throw away. Instead I weeded out a few things that are not quite as meaningful now. Then, I repacked it.

Hopefully, I can forget about it again, so I can rediscover it in another 10 years!

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  1. i love this!! i found some old poems i wrote when i was younger once, and cringed so badly that i threw them all away!! how fun for you to see all of this again!

  2. I love this! I did a similar thing a few years back when my mom gently asked me to clean out my old bedroom (which I hadn’t lived in for nearly 15 years). I loved reading though the letters and it was really neat to see so many great memories which I’d totally forgotten about.

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