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I've been doing a lot of cleaning lately. Well, not so much cleaning as sorting through my house - going through closets and boxes and crates of things that I stashed because someday I'll need them again. I find things occasionally that make me laugh, or make me wonder why the heck I ever thought I needed to save it in the first place.
This morning I found a box full of notes, and other things from college. I don't remember doing this, but apparently at some point I sat down and took all the notes from my classes that I thought were 'important' and I organized them all into notebooks. Physiological Chemistry. Nutrition. Food Science. Physiology. Biochemistry. One notebook for each - some fatter than others. I've been trying to be fairly ruthless with getting rid of things, because lets face it, I've been getting cluttered. But these made me stop for a moment. I sat down and pulled a few of them out and looked at them.
It seems a million years ago I was in college. It was a completely different person who took those notes and transcribed them neatly for review at test time. For some of them, I used different colors, just so the information I thought was more important would stand out. Anything that would make it easier to get the data into my swiss cheese brain and keep it there so I could pass.
It seems silly, but I actually pondered keeping them. Finding a place to put the box, closing it up, and leaving it there. Sort of a link to the past, back when I was studying science, doing research, pondering becoming a professor and teaching, writing freelance reviews for companies. I'm not sure why. Nostalgia, mostly. Just a little box to prove that I really did get a degree, even though I'm not using it.
But I am being ruthless, remember? I am getting rid of things that I don't need or use anymore. I don't need these notes. I'll never use them again. That box will just gather dust in some dark corner of a closet and years down the road I'll have to make the decision again - save or discard. And ask myself why I kept them so long anyway.
Three years doesn't seem like a long time. Only three years since I packed those up and walked away from graduate school to become a computer nerd. I have never regretted it. And so they went into the trash. I still have the memories. And that's more important than a box of handwritten class notes anyway.