A few days ago, my English teacher mentioned about a recent blogpost of Austin Kleon’s, that talked about why you SHOULD be able to throw away old works, whatever it may be. It really resonated with me because I never thought of WHY I would refuse to let go of some of my school works-something as irrelevant as old homework from like, Science class.
Then when school finally ended for Thanksgiving Break and I was able to find the time the next day, on Saturday, I got right to work. Every year when school ends I will usually keep about 60% of my work. It’s not really about the joy of hoarding something and feeling fulfilled when I am surrounded by a lot of these little projects and essays that I keep. In the post (I can’t find it sorry!), the author that Kleon quoted explained that the reason that you SHOULD throw away old works is that- YOU have the ability to recreate it. You did it once, you can definitely do it again. To a certain extent, I agree with that because there is a fear in me that even if I do recreate it again, it would lose that unique touch that I had before.
HOWEVER, 80% of the reason I keep things around (not just school materials) is because I want to keep the memories. There’s something exciting about digging up your old school papers, projects, and notes. You reconnect with yourself again. You realize how mature you were and the thoughts that the 12-year-old you once had. And I guess the reason why I feel this feeling is because today’s society is so advanced. We don’t keep diaries anymore, HELL we don’t even use emails the majority of the time. Everything is digital. It is really nice to look at a paper and see something along the line like “January 6, 2012”. I look past whether or not the work is “relevant” or not, and focus on the value of it. I can tell if I was working really hard on that piece of work. I compare my penmanship and how I organize my name block. Even the texture and color of the paper is changing. Handwritten items are never out of style. And that nostalgic feeling is really irreplaceable..or maybe I’m just a really sentimental person (LOL). If you throw away everything that shows how unique you are (your best works), you’re going to lose inspiration. Sure, they don’t own you or dictate how much you’re worth, but they keep you intact to display YOU.
“Not to get too metaphorical, but getting rid of physical messes can also mean tackling mental and emotional clutter and letting go of the past.” -Shana Lebowitz (http://greatist.com/happiness/hoard-no-more-art-throwing-stuff-away)
People say you should always get rid of the past and look towards the future to a new and improved YOU. But how do you remember where you started when you have nothing to remind you? Have a balance. Keep things only if they will still mean something a few years down the road.