Packing 1996 Here And Unpacking 2005 There


I like to document things.  Trips, events, people, especially fashion… stuff that makes life fun and funny, particularly in hindsight.  Before technology became fingertip-available, I’d laminate or Formaldehyde or shadow box whatever I could and keep them in perpetuity. I didn’t want to not have a reminder of everything I ever experienced. But in time all my moves from city to city became an exercise in dumping nostalgia. It was just too laborious to tow my life’s stuff around, packing 1996 here and unpacking 2005 there.  

The worst part was that the more I “documented,” the bigger my fear got in losing any of it…a trinket from 2002 might not make sense without some card from 2001 that provided context, I’d tell myself. I had to store everything so I wouldn’t forget anything.  I was operating like someone waiting for amnesia to set in. (BTW, I’m fully aware that it’s a disease to be in my head.)

Luckily, I woke up one day and decided that shedding stuff voluntarily was the only cure. If I intentionally let some of these mementos go, I’d still be maintaining control over the loss. Right? Well, this worked well in theory  but in practice I learned to regret dumping so many things that can never be replaced….a neon Stephen Sprouse dress from the 80s (which I sorely miss after Marc Jacobs introduced a limited collection honoring Sprouse at Louis Vuitton early this year), my diaries from middle school, photos from a lost weekend in Rio.

Anyway, fast forward to now, when I can store almost everything electronically, it is quite easy to (virtually) archive every decade of my life down to the minutiae, and the shedding becomes less and less painful. I’ll always have a photograph of the favorite shoes or tote or jacket exorcised from my closet in a fit of cleaning madness, so any amount of donor remorse can now be immediately tempered by a jpg file.  The  scanned 300 photos I took of the leaning Tower of Pisa now reside on my computer and not in a cumbersome box I have to keep away from direct sunlight. Life’s past is pretty manageable, not to mention portable, when you can fit bits of it on a flash drive or even CD. The downside is, of course, not backing up everything enough so that one epic hard drive fail can wipe out chunks of my life in a second.  

OK so all this dribble has nothing to do whatsoever with fashion on the road, which was the topic I meant to cover in today’s entry. I think I got sidetracked when I went back to look at the pictures I’ve taken so far on this trip to cull for the Outfit Du Jour shots and realized how neatly 2 weeks jammed with real-life activities can fit in a folder on my laptop, ready to be relived in full color with a mere few clicks.

So I’ll save the fashion thing for the end of the European trip. Tomorrow let’s go chase windmills!


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