Laughing at the 15-year-old me (and my friends)

I may have mentioned that I’m slightly addicted to organizing. When the baseboards have been cleaned and the tile grout scrubbed and the light fixtures dusted (yes, I’m serious), then I move on to see how I can further organize something – anything.

Recently I came to realize that I have no organization when it comes to old photos. Ok, maybe not so recently — about 2 years ago I hosted several friends over for a scrapbooking weekend (not as dorky as it sounds! Ok, maybe it is but we had fun!), and I asked my high school friends to bring old pictures if they wanted. We would scan them in, create digital copies, and share them with each other. About 10 minutes into the project, I realized this was going to take a very long time. 2 years later, I still have their photo albums. I haven’t given up yet though!

Susan, my friend since we were 14, stands in front of an early version of my picture wall.
Susan, my friend since we were 14, stands in front of an unfinished version of my picture wall.

As far as my photos go, when I was in high school I had an entire wall in my bedroom that I plastered with photos. It was sooo cool at the time. However, when the time came to take down those pictures, I was left with a bunch of sticky tape on the back of them. The high school me did not handle this in a good way — I put them in a pile, put the pile in a box, and forgot about them. As you can imagine, more than 10 years later it’s a sticky mess.

A few months ago I began working with a client who needed photo organization. I purchased several archival boxes (acid free of course), acid free storage envelopes that had space for negatives as well as photos, and a label maker. It took a lot of time, but the result was super-organized — I impressed myself! I was jealous and wanted my own photos to be treated just as nicely.

So a few weeks ago I resigned myself to get rid of all things sticky. Scan them in and throw them away. I also realized that I had photos organized in very random ways – photo albums, scrapbooks, random boxes. I ordered several photo boxes (for myself this time!), some more envelopes and got to scanning.

Those were the days ...
Those were the days ...

The result was amazing. Not just with my stellar organization skills (like I said, it takes a lot of time … still working on that part) but with how easily I can revert myself back to that time — high school, when memories are being made and our lives are being formed and we don’t even know it because we don’t know how to look past the day-to-day.

What also amazes me is the number of friends from back then that I still talk to — when we said “friends forever” — we really meant it! I’ve also had the opportunity to reconnect with some old friends from high school in the past few months/years, and even, gulp, an old boyfriend. Talk about feeling 15 again!

Looking at these pictures, I think:
a) Why did we wear so many T-Shirts all the time?
b) What was up with the high-waisted jeans?
c) When it came to eye makeup, I think I subscriped to the “more is better” idea
d) How would we have been different if cell phones, email, IM were as popular then as they are now?

That's Amy on the far left ...
That's Amy on the far left.

My bff from third grade, Amy, wrote about our crazy pictures in her blog. Check it out here.

I posted the pictures on Facebook yesterday and it seems I’m not the only one who enjoyed reminiscing. A bunch of us from high school had fun exchanging comments and wall posts all day. So much so, that I will add more old pictures soon. Stay tuned!

I will add: The purpose of these pictures has not been to embarass anyone. Most of the response to these pictures has been fun — I tried to choose pictures that were cute and/or funny. However, I understand completely that having a bad picture of yourself online is no fun whatsoever. If you see a picture of yourself on Facebook or here, please tell me and I’ll take it down immediately.