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Packing brings Rocky View Publishing reporter face-to-face with hoarder within

By: Allison Chorney

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jan 23, 2014 12:23 pm

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Finally, after nearly a year of waiting, my new home is built and my husband and I will be making the big move this weekend.

Though this life event was much anticipated and is incredibly exciting as we are now first-time homeowners, it does bring about the dreaded task of packing. The results of the final push to box everything up before we relocate, is the undeniable truth that you can never really escape your past self.

Now, this isnít my first move. Iíve been living on my own for quite a few years and have packed and moved several times. The difference this time, is that now I have no more excuses for keeping my forgotten belongings at my parentsí home. The result is the unenviable task of sorting through a lifetimeís worth of stuff that I felt was imperative to hold on to all these years.

Case in point, I recently discovered my old sticker collection. Iím not sure when I thought Iíd need pages upon pages of stickers fastidiously categorized by theme (fuzzy versus non-fuzzy along with shiny versus non-shiny) then stuck meticulously in neat little rows on the page. The mere act of categorizing and sticking has rendered the stickers completely unusable, as they are no longer easily removed from the plastic-like sticker paper they originally occupied. Also, can one really ever find a need for at least 100 Tweety Bird stickers?

I realize this sticker collection was a valuable gem when I was in grade school and I know I held it in great esteem, bringing it to sleepovers and showing it off to my friends. But the mere fact that I couldnít part with it when I first moved out at 18, suggests to me I may have some issues to let go.

Now, Iím not suggesting I should be featured on an episode of TLCís Hoarding: Buried Alive, but I do think itís time I take a good hard look at what is really important in the big scheme of things.

Will I ever proudly show off my prized sticker collection again in my life? I sincerely hope I never have that compulsion as it would: one, indicate a bizarre new twist in my life and two, be impossible because I did indeed let that piece of nostalgia go and threw it out.

As I go through the remnants of my childhood I am faced with the various future predictions of my youth such as the numerous photos I have accumulated of random apes (I thought Iíd grow up to be a primatologist), my forgotten dreams and goals hidden within the pages of old diaries (which I couldnít actually bring myself to read), and my penchant to hold on to an absurd amount of stuffed animals in hopes I would one day pass them on to my own children (at some point a stuffy becomes too old and dust-ridden to be passed down).

The arduous task has also resulted in some delightfully embarrassing mementoes including a Grade 2 class yearbook in which I wrote the thing I wanted most in life was a baby sister but that somehow got misprinted as babysitter, because apparently having a consistent babysitter was something a six year old dreamt of.

Though the packing process isnít a ton of fun, it has made me realize Iím not so much of a grown-up as I thought I was because I still get super happy when I pull out my old set of Glow Worms and was ridiculously excited to find I still own a DVD/VHS player and all my old VHS Disney movies (Iím absolutely setting that up and having a movie marathon).

In the end the move will be fantastic and though it may be a little heavier because I just canít let go of all the objects with memories attached to them, sometimes nostalgia is worth it. Plus, maybe I will finally make my millions selling my beanie babies.


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