Sifting through the past

I've been exploring my past in several ways this week. First of all, I successfully went through ALL of my school papers, articles, notebooks, etc., that had been cluttering up our living and dining room (because I don't have a desk) for the past several years. The mess started to get bad a year and a half ago when I was studying for my comprehensive exam, and though I had kept it to one quadrant of the living room since then, it got much worse when I had my entire academic existence spread out over the house while I studied for my general exams. Yeesh. I spent two days putting every piece of paper into stacks, reminiscing on what I loved about all of those classes and making mental notes of what might be useful to return to later, for my dissertation or otherwise. There are now three matching plastic file boxes with hanging folders for each class, plus extra folders for conference handouts, miscellaneous articles, and the like. I'm relieved to have that sorting finished. The nesting instinct is not a myth.

Jack has also asked me to go through our old digital pics today, since his 10th high-school reunion is coming up, and they'd like pictures and updates from him for their little memory book. He had been so looking forward to the reunion until we got pregnant, when it became quite clear that I wouldn't be able to make the trip to VA in late June. He also wasn't interested in leaving me so close to the due date. I haven't finished going through the pictures, but it's amazing to see just how enormous our Cats folder is. I'll bet that the baby folder will be even bigger as time goes on, AND we'll have digital video to boot once we get comfortable using the video camera.

Last, I've finally finished labeling all of my old posts. (Sorry to those who use RSS feeds and have had to scroll through hundreds of updated old posts in the past few days so that they won't show up as "new" anymore!) Though I had gotten labeling capabilities a few weeks ago, it took me quite some time to sift through my 408 posts and categorize them. It's a unique experience to look back on one's old writings, in whatever form they may exist, and it's weird to me to get into the head space of who I was back then and then be jolted back into my present. Just ten minutes ago, I was reading posts about applying to grad schools and planning our wedding from Philly, and now I'm back in the present world of someone who's writing a dissertation and is about to have a baby with an amazing man she feels like she's been married to for much longer than four and a half years. It's hard to remember what it felt like just to be engaged to Jack, when we hardly knew each other in comparison to our relationship now.

So far, the largest collection of posts is under the label "school" (the guiding force behind many things, to be sure), followed somewhat distantly by "felines," "kitchen adventures," and "Louisiana." When I first started labeling, I noticed the most frequent labels were "belly" and "Kent," but of course, there was a sizable chunk of my blogging life that took place long before I was ready to have a baby.

Go read old journals, or sift through old posts or emails you've sent. Remember who you were, and reflect on how you've evolved.

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Well that explains all of the extra rss posts recently! I can’t even imagine going through all of my old posts to label them all. I am sure that reading through all of the posts was a major trip down memory lane. I was going through some of our digital photos last night and came across a bunch of fun memories. Like you said, we also have a million pictures that could be put in the “cats” folder. Have fun nesting!!!!
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