Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Pack Rat: Definition: Cris Carpenter

I'm wondering how it's possible that over the last 10 years I have deemed so many different kinds of junk save-worthy. Not only do I get to think about what I will be taking to Brazil with me over the next week, I also get to go through all of the things that have accumulated in my parents' house since we have lived in the States and throw away a lot. And I mean A LOT. Apparently, I have kept every card, every letter, every little trinket, every postcard, every piece of foreign currency (including Italian Lire, which is odd, because I have never been to Italy?) etc etc etc. This is a task so daunting I would like to hire the crew from Clean Sweep on TLC, but I won't. It's my punishment for being a pack rat in my early years.

However, going through all of my stuff has been fun and has given me occasion to reminisce, which is one of my most favorite activities in the entire world! I read through most of the cards that I had saved (since literally around 3rd grade) and many of the letters. I was touched/convicted by two things. 1. I NEED to be better about staying in touch with people. 2. I am amazed by how encouraging and supportive my friends and family have been through the years, particularly when we moved to Oklahoma from Santa Barbara. I found so many letters from friends in California who wrote often to say "hang in there" or "I'm praying for you" or just letting me know they were thinking about me and hoping I was making friends. For a 13 year old California girl moving to the Midwest, I really wonder if some of those letters are what got me through the transition semi-smoothly. (I also must admit, however, that I made no secret of the fact that I was miserable and hating life at that point. I guess I kind of asked for it. No drama queen here, no sir.)

Anyway, what this all has to do with my move to Natal is that I am committing myself to not only stay in touch with people here in the States, but to stay in good touch. To stay updated on people's lives and take as much of an interest in everyone else as everyone else is taking in me. This isn't a promise, because I can't make that kind of promise before I even get there, but it's a confession and a plea to keep me accountable. Reading through all of those cards and letters was evidence to me for how crucial it is to one's well-being (well, at least to mine!) to be encouraged and supported. There's a reason that I didn't throw out any of those old letters, but put them right back in the boxes they came from, looking forward to going through them all again someday. They represent a special part of my life that I want to remember and cherish.

So, please hold me accountable. I can't promise letters through the mail, (one, because I'm good at writing them but terrible at actually putting them in the mailbox, two, because international postage is highly inconvenient) but I will send postcards. And I will send emails. And if you haven't heard from me personally in a while, please email me. One thing I'm really good at is responding to emails! And just knowing the way my mind works, if you leave a comment on here every once in a while there's a good chance it will trigger my commitment and you'll end up getting a personal message out of the deal.

Please keep me (and my family, and the people in Natal) in your prayers. I thank God for all of you and the appreciate your love and support!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You think you've got stuff! Try 31 years of marriage. However, I do live with a person that does not believe in keeping the type stuff us girls do (letters, cards, etc.). He was mortified when he found out I had all his letters from college, but you know I got to keep them-and still have them. Yes, it is a blast from the past when you start cleaning out but it is fun and you get a warm fuzzy feeling knowing so many people care. And we do and we hope nothing but the best for you on your new adventure. We love you, Cris.