Today I finished a project I've been promising myself I would do for about two years now. I took all of my old photos (from parties and play dates) along with nametags and keycards from hotels and I put them in a photo album. Back in the days before I had a digital camera, I would take pictures and then trudge to Walgreen's to get them developed. I usually got a picture CD and a set of prints. But knowing that the person who developed the pictures had seen them sort of made uncomfortable. It wasn't until I had a job where one of my duties was one hour photo developing that I realized that they saw everything.
I had no idea what a trip down memory lane this was going to be for me. A lot has changed since the days when I first got into the scene. Because I'm a hoarder (a trait which has driven several people in my life completely crazy) there was a lot there. Most people would consider a nametag or a keycard to be so much garbage and just pitch them. But I kept everything. When Cigi and I moved from our house to an apartment, I had the forethought to round everything up and put them in a big bag so I would have everything in one place. I patted myself on the back for thinking ahead. However, my happiness was shortlived as I realized that somehow, a small amount of moisture had gotten into the bag. The nametags are adhesive on one side and so I spent a stressful hour or so trying to get them unstuck without tearing them. A couple of them have small tears, but I can live with that.
When I completed the task and looked through the album, I became very nostalgic. I looked at the faces of people I probably will never see again (for one reason or another) and I just got very sentimental. It was very unexpected.
Do any of you out there have a place (besides your computer, I mean) where you keep things like photos and momentos of your life in the scene? Having a digital camera helps a lot but since I don't have a scanner and I'm not about to take my memory chip up to Walgreens and have digital prints made (sort of defeats the purpose) unless a friend takes them and wants to give me one, I think my days of having actual paper prints to look at are over. Maybe this is what I'm so sentimental about? Maybe it's the fact that I've allowed technology to rob me of one of my most treasured and enjoyable past times---looking at old photographs. As much as I love the advantages of having a digital camera, I really love old paper prints. They are something tangible that you can hold in your hand, sometimes close to your heart if you're so inclined.
Even if you're not a hoarder like me, memories are hard to hold onto. Especially the kind you can hold in your hand.