Fitting Life Into a Box

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Florida State University

One night while I was home over winter break, I decided to sift through the contents of some trunks in my room. I've had these three trunks since I was 10 years old, and I've used them as keepsake boxes, putting in trinkets and artifacts that were important to me at one time or another.

They are little time capsules of my life really.

All I can say is that I am very glad that I decided to get rid of some of the contents because if something had happened to me and my mom or my friends had had to clean out my room, I would be very embarrassed by what they would have found.

Where to start describing the madness?

There was the juice box straw that I stole from the lunchbox of Brennan Penfield, my 4th grade crush. I should add that it was a used juice box straw, thus the allure.

There was the letter I wrote to myself and sealed. The envelope exclaimed, "Do NOT open until you are married to Taylor Hanson!" My 13-year-old self would be ashamed to know that I have not accomplished this yet. Sad to say, the contents of that letter might never be revealed.

There were the numerous notes between my best friend Lindsey and I in which I detailed my feelings of despair over the end of my relationship with the then-love-of-my-life Scott Combs.

"Dear Lyn-Z: Sup girlie? I'm in Science class, and I can't go on. How will I ever love again? I know me and Scott are meant to be together 4-eva! We're soul mates. I can't live without him. W/B soon."

I was 13, and we 'dated' about a week and a half. I think we talked on the phone twice. Things haven't changed much in that scene!

I found my very first bra that I ever wore — Hanes, size 32AAA. It was about the size of my eyeball, but I don't think I ever felt so cool in my life as the day I put that bad boy on for the first time.

Actually, I remember the exact day that I realized I had 'breasts.' It was in fifth grade. I was at school and was wearing my favorite outfit, consisting of a stretchy, one-piece black leotard and pink skirt. I was skipping my way to the bathroom when I felt something strange and looked down. There they were.

I was, to say the least, mortified. I never wore that clingy black leotard again.

But I did put it in my trunk!

And of course, I found my journal from when I was 15. This book of secrets actually was a day planner that I filled with the important details of my days.

For example, one entry read:

"Woke up at 1 p.m. Walked down Beach Boulevard with Lindsey. Got honked at by five cars. Saw Brian Noell (hottie) at Walmart and gave him my number! Wore LEI jeans, purple spaghetti strap shirt and blue scrunchie. That night, went to the teen club. Wore Mudd Flares and pink sparkly tube top and black platform sandals. Great day!"

Ah, memories. You can't beat those outfits; that's for sure!

It was fun taking a trip down memory lane, seeing the things that used to be important to me, the little bookmarks in the chapters of my life.

Maybe I didn't save the most elegant of items but then again, they were a part of me, and we should never be ashamed of who we once were or what we've been through or where we came from. Slightly embarrassed perhaps, but never ashamed.

Luckily, my tastes (and my body) have matured. I'm no longer quite the pack rat I once was, but I think I'll hang on to that Hanson letter, just in case.