Yesterday, I finally got rid of my old computer. It was sitting in my office, off in a corner getting dusty, when I realized it had to go. I hadn’t used it in 4 years. When I moved to my current place, I just dismantled it and never set it back up again. Even in 2008, the computer was really old (10 yrs!). I finally bit the bullet and bought a new machine.
But, I still held on to the old one. I thought one day I might suddenly remember there was a file or something that I forgot to transfer. But the only thing that was really important (my novel) was transferred to a flash drive before I moved.
And now it looks like I might move again. So I have been paring down all of my things. All my books that I have been saving for years that I will never read again, clothes that don’t fit, and old electronics that needed to be recycled, had to go. I love decluttering, but man, I hang on to a lot of crap! I found and old copy of Sweet Valley Twins in one of my book boxes. I hadn’t read one of those in at least 20 years! It has been exhausting, but I am at the point now where I see real progress. Sometimes I think I just cart the same boxes from place to place and never open them. Hopefully my next place, I can really settle in and unpack.
I still remember buying that old computer. I worked in a HR office in Virginia Beach, VA for a summer for a whopping six dollars and hour. I saved all summer and two weeks before I was about to go back to school for my senior year of college, I walked into Circuit City (Remember that store?) and bought my first PC. I was so nervous driving home with it in the back seat, I went well below the speed limit.
I wrote my college final papers on that computer. I composed a short story, Mr. Fear, that would set the tone for all of my future work. My short lived life as a columnist about women in pro-wrestling (not kidding!), found its voice in that keyboard. And of course I wrote my novel, my first as an adult, between February 2002 and June 2003 (Just the first draft. Subsequent drafts took another year.). So many important memories in my career were on that machine. I wasn’t sad to see it go. The work was important, not the machine. The memories were good and they are enough.