Recently, I cleaned “my corner of the house” where I keep all my precious memorabilia. Old papers, my newspapers and magazines collection, and my “mini-library”.
Somehow, I found the strength and will to throw away papers that I chose to keep for years. Gone were periodical exam papers in high school, old receipts, notes and scribbles in scratch papers, old notebooks, Math reviewers, review papers for a university entrance exam, and even survey forms and project documentations. At the end of the day, four bundles of assorted papers were reduced to one, fitting inside one small rattan briefcase.
I also stored in a box books which I don’t usually pick up, like school textbooks and technical books. I retained in the “shelf” on top of our family dresser those I read from time to time, and those I’m about to read.
Currently, I’m reading If Men Were Angels by Reed Karaim. In my to-read list are: two inspirational books my boss gave me on my last day of internship, The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas, and the December 6, 2010 edition of TIME Magazine. As always, there’s the Bible, and Book 1 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, which I can pick up and read from time to time.
Most especially, I checked on and updated my newspapers and magazines collection. In there are all the WWE Magazine issues I have bought, and some special editions of TIME Magazine. There’s also WWE Unscipted, a book I bought (together with the inaugural issue of the WWE Magazine, with Batista on the cover) while I was in the US four years ago.
I also keep The Philippine STAR issues with memorable headlines (like the August 2, 2009 issue, covering the sudden passing of former Pres. Cory Aquino; and, issues with Manny Pacquiao’s boxing victories on Page 1), and the paper’s anniversary issue every July 28. This is my way of “having a part of history”.
I love to answer crosswords by Stan Newman in The Philippine STAR. When I’m finished, I separate the whole broadsheet page where the crossword and comics are from the Entertainment Section, and keep that page together with my newspapers and magazines collection.
I don’t know what happened, what hit me, or what got me into doing this, but I suddenly found myself cleaning house. Maybe, the chaos in the second floor of our house irritated me. Maybe, I’m frustrated with myself that time, so instead of hurting myself, getting drunk or doing something sinful, I tidied things up.
Yup, what a way to relieve frustration…
Or maybe, it just has to happen. I keep too much stuff that I don’t usually use, check up on or refer to from time to time. In short, it’s just there, among piles of papers, waiting for me to give them at least a sliver of attention.
Besides, what would I do with an old receipt? Remind myself what I bought, who I was with and how special my purchase was? Then what, put it back there in the pile? Look at it again when I feel blue? Tell my friends about it? The world’s too fast-paced now, and nobody would bother to stop and listen to a story behind an old receipt.
I’m slowly realizing that too much nostalgia and sentimentality would lead me nowhere. I’d be stuck in the past, looking only at the present on the horizon, unable to see the future beyond that horizon.