I unearthed my late teens and early 20s in my garage this evening. It wasn't pretty.

Some might call me a late bloomer...

Anyway, my mom's been forcing me to take back all the crap I left with her during the various times I've moved out. And that crap had ended up in my garage. I popped open one box that was too heavy for me to lift without risking back injury and found a little time capsule into my past:

~ Stacks of papers from past jobs that included examples of my writing that I must have thought was good at some point, but now seems rather wordy. As in ledes that last more than 40 words. Without a hint of a nut graf in the next 20 grafs or so.

~Bizarrely suggestive cards that I think I bought and never sent to a long-distance boyfriend. You know, romantic things. Like a card with a picture of a screw on the front and "... well?" on the inside. And a card with a light bulb that lights up like a heart and says on the inside "you turn me on." (Yes, I am cringing right now even typing this ...)

~ Postcards from Europe that I bought when I didn't believe in taking photographs and now can only guess at the significance of the monuments depicted.

~ Pictures of the girls I shared a house with in Georgetown that summer I interned at USA Today (or as they liked to call themselves, USAT.) Yes, five girls from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds, a historic home, one full bathroom and only window air conditioning units. It's the reality TV show too sticky for MTV.

~ An Associated Press article about Hoopeston (where I had my first adult job) running an ad in the Wall Street Journal advertising a free five-story building (yes, free) in downtown Hoopeston to a company that could provide local jobs. The article indicated there had been about a dozen responses. I don't remember what happened to the Willdon building, but I remember arguing with several people that it was, indeed, spelled Willdon and NOT Wildon. As it was named for the developer's two sons. Will and Don.

~ Old assignments from Journ350. Including one first-person piece in which I claimed my father told me I had journalism in my blood. Even better is the typed notes from the instructor that are written in journalism shorthand -- the precursor to tween text speak. No LOLs, but plenty of wod, shud, etc.

~ A King James Bible. Which I spent about 20 minutes trying to read many moons ago before going NIV.

~ My quote book from Mrs. Nenadic's Senior Seminar literature class. We apparently read a lot of Thoreau, but I don't remember if I totally fell in love with him then, or in college. At any rate, my handwriting was much smaller and neater in high school.

How can one give this stuff up?

Some was easy - I tossed the Bible (sorry, God!), the gaudy cards, and the old newspapers, but the rest went right back in the box and right back next to the Christmas decorations. Give me another five to ten years, and I'm sure I'll be even more amused by it :)
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