Tuesday, May 27

things I thought were cool at 14

all those folders and notebooks and stacks of old schoolwork in boxes? they've been transferred out of my parents' basement, into my own little house. one of them is a box from some youth activity way back when I was a teenager, and it is plastered with magazine cut-outs. take a plain box, they said, and make it yours. cover it with you-like symbols and fill it with special things. and also here is a white five-gallon bucket. decorate the thing so you'll be able to tell it apart from every other five-gallon bucket at girls' camp.
these are the images I was drawn to back then. most of them surprise me a little now, with their fancy and intricate girlishness. what seemed so lovely about some of these dolls and angels and kitten-art hasn't aged with me very well.
still, parts of me want to pluck these kinds of things off their display shelves and really look at their lacy, ribboned, posed shapes. while my dad and I wandered through antique stores last week, I looked with a strange, dampened thrill at rows and rows of ceramic figurines. I remember being fascinated by trinkets like that, imagining the lives they might live behind my back on my own mantlepiece someday, or the frozen scenes I could set out if I collected all the most fitting characters. little figurines, enchanted-like, seemed laden with stories and magic.
today I'm mostly anti-owning-things though. I move around too much. these boxes and their half-decomposed contents are evidence of how easily trinkets and mementos get left behind. you of course don't have room for them in the two suitcases you're allowed to take on that airplane. they won't fit in your car and they aren't crucial to your survival as a semi-civilized graduate student. it's more convenient to have less stuff.
fewer shoes, minimal furniture, flexible plans, only library books except when absolutely necessary, and really who needs a television? I have friends with televisions. television with friends is better anyway.

some of these peeling magazine clippings have more of current-me in them than others. or is there a better way to phrase that? current-me can somehow see herself in a few of these old scuffed bits of glued-on magazine. certain scuffed bits somehow remain relevant to whatever has happened to my identity in the last eighteen-ish years. sections of this me-ish-collage haven't been as abandoned or transmogrified as others have. something like that. for instance: I still love being barefoot. chocolate cream pies will never not be cool. Cinderella is simply an ideal fairytale, for some reason.

but kittens and pink-robed angels? paintings of glossy brown horses? hrm.
I'm not sure what I'll do with the contents of these boxes. recycling? bonfires? remix scrapbooks? digitization? all of the above?

so far I haven't gotten past musing at the boxes' outsides yet. when I open them, I'm sure the insides will surprise me just as much with their own forgotten, distant, not-quite-me-anymore-ness.

3 comments:

Janeheiress said...

Haha. This reminds me of what I used to collect--mainly pictures of buildings and beautiful people I used for story inspiration. And then the odd Thomas Kincaide cutout. How our tastes change.

Happy Mom said...

So fun!! Love the window into 14 year old Amelia!

amelia chesley said...

maybe everyone goes through a Thomas Kincaid phase. heh.

and now I'm thinking collections for the sake of collections are another interesting thing to think about. I consciously collected used popsicle sticks at one point. now it's postcards. all these possessions are windows, in some way, eh?