I’m glad that I finally laid out what I’m working on lately, since now I can blather on about it incessantly and not feel the need to write lengthy introductory paragraphs or just casually drop in “oh, yeah, I’m applying for a second bachelor’s.”
This is a super frustrating process in its own right, because I have to come up with a lot of information that I’ve mentally filed away under “don’t care, never need again” many years ago. It is compounded, however, by a massive organization problem, the true extent of which I think even I haven’t faced until recently.
Selected Items I Can Easily Find at a Moment’s Notice with Zero Effort:
– the retainer I haven’t worn regularly in more than a decade
– the leftover yarn of every pair of socks I’ve ever knit
– receipts for every pack of gum or train ticket I’ve ever bought (but not important purchase receipts, and especially not if I need to return something)
– A small digital scale that I use so infrequently I must replace the batteries every other use
– everything even remotely related to my sailboat or kayak
– my floppy beach hat
Items I Have Spent Hours or Days Seeking and Lose Regularly:
– my passport
– my birth certificate, social security card, and my checkbook
– any necessary (and especially expensive or flammable) art supplies purchased for a specific project
– any important paperwork to do with school, including graduation applications
– the notes or articles I require to finish a paper or master’s thesis, bonus if they are photocopies of obscure sources that took many hours to procure like out-of-print books from a research library in Venice
– any receipt for which I am entitled to reimbursement from work, especially if it was really expensive and I didn’t have the money to pay for it in the first place
– any piece of paper I have previously deemed important and made a mental note not to lose, especiallyif I’ve gone to any effort to put it “somewhere safe”
The theme, of course, is that when I try to protect things, especially paper things, I am guaranteed to lose or destroy them. Which is to say that if I someday have a baby, I should plan to keep it on the roof of my car or shoved between couch cushions.
Also, paper is evil. I genuinely loathe paper, and I go on at length about how much I dislike it at work (I use “paper conservation” as a slur, and I refer to detestable things as, like, “the paper of hotels” or “the paper of philosophy treatises”). I have tactile issues with newsprint and most mass-produced copier paper. The only paper I like, at all, is drawing paper, and it’s taken me years to come to terms with that (the very instant I find a more absorbent medium for ink and watercolor, I’m bailing).
That said, I am surrounded by and dependent upon paper (this is absolutely why I hate it). I dream of a time in my life where I won’t own binders full of articles (because they’ll all be on my computer where they belong!) or little stacks of rubber-banded-together notes and cards or fugitive suitcases full of Important Stuff I Can’t Lose. In that time, paper will be just for writing and drawing upon, to use for disposable lists which I actually throw out after using or small hand-written greetings that others don’t feel the compulsion to keep either. And I won’t even consider things like filing cabinets or carts because I won’t own a single manila hang-tab folder because every paper I actually need will easily fit in one small, meticulously organized space like a safe deposit box or something (Oh God, let it be the bank’s problem!).
Man, it’s so good to dream.