Dusty Memories; Hoarding Unrequited Love

Dear Jamie, Followers and Passing Bloggers, 

I am writing an article to you in a letter format because I want to effectively convey my thoughts on hoarding our love letters from adolescent years. How long is too long to keep them in a box somewhere up in the attic or down in the basement collecting dust? Should we reconsider scrap-booking to show our own children the days of puppy love?

In an era of technological change in communication, who considers themselves as a pen pal anymore? The cost for postal stamps is the catalyst hindering a traditional form of expression and admiration. Family and friends are now sending out Christmas postcards with a recent family picture as the postcard image. How many Christmas cards will you be sending out this year? Do you think Santa will feel the burden of the U.S. Postal Service? Children will have to save their wish lists on their computers and electronically send them out in time for Santa’s delivery!

The military families experience tedious battles of long distant relationships with the exchange of letters. There is also an exchange of uncertainty and fear, imagining that this letter could be the last one sent from them. I would like to take this moment to acknowledge the troops and their families. God bless you all for the strength and patience that you have achieved over the last few years. Stay strong and come back home soon.

Conveniently logging on to the Internet is a matter of seconds, the anticipation for another letter in the mail is invaluable. I was only twelve years old when I started chatting online in AOL chat rooms. There were only a few friends that wanted to write to me and send me a couple awkward school pictures enclosed in their letters. A decade later, I am still in contact with only two of those young women. They both have amazing partners, and I wish them the best of luck.

It is unfortunate that you cannot meet everyone you have known for several years over the Internet. However, you make the best of it in any situation and communicate with each other every other day.

In The Notebook (2004), a romantic love story between a poor, passionate man and a young, beautiful rich woman has changed the film industry forever. Allie Hamilton and Noah Calhoun face the challenges of a long distant relationship and the ineffective communication limited to the exchange of 365 written letters – every day for a year.

I have several letters from wonderful people across the United States. If I counted them all, I doubt I have more than three hundred of them. I have their love notes, adorably embarrassing pictures, and cards from different holidays. In high school, I have exchanged letters and notes throughout the school day with my peers. After going back down Memory Lane, I realized that I would feel empty and lost inside if I threw away everything. I could never detach myself from the homemade birthday cards to the letters suggesting that “I screwed your sister cause you’ re not worthy of my bangage [sic]!” The preserved inside jokes and the untold stories can bring back more than just rekindled emotions. You cannot relive the past, but you can carry the best experiences with you, especially if they are in written form. The minute you read a letter from the past or possibly right after a break-up, you have to ask yourself how you feel about keeping these letters of sentimental value. Would you rather let the past slip away through your fingers or do you frame the experiences that helped you become who you are today?

Saying Goodbye

How do we remove something from our lives that holds so much sentimental value? How can we replace those empty boxes that held the best written stories stocked up awaiting for another rainy day to enjoy them? Would you reconsider writing a romance novel from them?

Kalisha Buckhanon, author of Upstate, introduces a powerful and motivating love story told through the exchange of letters between a young teenage couple, Antonio and Natasha, during the 1990’s in New York. While Antonio’s accusation for a shocking crime went viral, the love for each other was also being testified. How long will absence grow the heart fonder? Well, I am not much of a spoiler when I review books, but Buckhanon conveys a poetic image at the end of her story when Natasha decides whether she will keep the letters or toss them away. It is a very intriguing book. If you did not read this in high school, please do it now.

Shredded Love, Toasted Hearts

Many businesses and households are buying shredders to remove their confidential documents and legal records for anyone who decides to rummage through the recycle bin. This temporary shred will only cut the paper in multiple strips, while another trend of removing personal documents may just spark an idea.

My dad is a pyromaniac who has managed to slip away from becoming an arsonist by following town ordinances on fire safety. I believe fire would be more of a symbolic and temporary rush. It would be poetic in the sense where a temporary burning desire starts off slow across the pieces of paper, eventually engulfed with warmth and rage. Then, the letters shrivel up and deteriorate into ashes. Whether you felt that the relationship would still have the potential to rekindle or not, that is entirely your decision. It is never too late to rekindle potential feelings, unless there is significant emotional damage and baggage from that relationship. If you know it would be a waste of time, push it aside.

I am not ready to burn a part of my past, but I do move on from everything that has happened. I can burn my research papers, but I would never analyze how much my writing has improved in the last eight years. I can burn everything I have received from past relationships, excluding materialistic gifts, but I cannot shred or burn the sentimental value that everything uniquely has on its own. Yes, Teddy, you’re still staying with me.

If something written to you a while ago still grabs you and hugs you tight, why should you let that go? Embrace those feelings and return back to them when you need them the most. If you kept something from the past that causes conflict in your current relationship or lifestyle, step away from the risks involved. Whether you are obsessively stalking someone on Facebook or Twitter, or telling their partners that they still care about you and not them, consider yourself warned.

Don’t Hate, Donate

If you have materialistic items from your past sitting on your bed since the first time you received them, keep them. If they are still in great condition,  stuffed animals are always welcomed for a generous donation to children hospitals or daycare centers. Ask around and see where you can drop them off. Although I would also consider having a yard sale, most of the people who stop by here in my neighborhood are looking for pet toys. Unless you have a sadistic sense of humor, I would suggest reserving Mr. Snuggles for a child who really wants him to come home that day. I am sure Mr. Snuggles would not mind at all, especially far away as possible  from the other misfit toys that still linger from your childhood.

Do you still have love letters, teddy bears or their jacket you borrowed? Comment below and tell me all about it!

Also, ask yourself if you could take those items and dispose of them properly, how would you do it? Did you remove them from your life before? How did you do it, and would you change the way you took matters in your own hands?

Until next time, take care.



Dusty Memories; Hoarding Unrequited Love