Emotional Stages Of Going Through Your '90s Stuff

by Kat George

There are always a lot of feels when you're going through old stuff from the '90s. Uncovering tchotchkes from your past, no matter what era, can stir up a lot of emotions. But a '90s revival can bring back a lot of very specific ones, and as you trawl through your time capsule — maybe your childhood bedroom, or old boxes filled with treasure — you're likely to experience a series of emotional stages. Did you really think you'd uncover all your '90s Leonardo DiCaprio paraphernalia without stirring something deep inside you? Did you think you'd find an old Tamagotchi with a little battery life in it and not want to start cultivating digital pets all over again? And did you think you'd be blasé about revisiting your Vengaboys albums?

Whether it's an old collection of troll dolls, Beanie babies, snap bands, or your Babysitter's Club anthology, your trip down '90s memory lane is likely to inspire you. It will make you laugh, cry, cringe and generally feel old as well. There are some things that only '90s kids will understand, most of that stemming from the fact that we share a common knowledge of what it's like to attempt to summon the spirit of Kurt Cobain in a seance, something we're sure '00s and '10s kids haven't/wont do. Here are the emotional stages every '90s kid will feel when going through their old junk from the '90s.

1. Excitement

Going through your old stuff, at first at least, is super exciting. You'll try to recall what you can remember, hoping to find certain things, and excited about the things you forgot about that you will soon rediscover. It's always a little bit of a treat when you first set out to go through your old things.

2. Butterflies

"Butterflies" isn't exactly an emotion, but it's a feeling in your tummy that you get when the excitement mixes with a moderate level of nervousness. You'll be all a flutter as you embark on this magical journey down memory lane.

3. Nausea

Totally more physical than emotional, nausea for the '90s happens both in your stomach and to an extent, in your mind. Once you start realizing the actual reality of what you might find, and what kind of feelings that might turn up, the butterflies start inducing a vomit-like feeling inside you.

4. Fear

Suddenly, opening up the Pandora's Box of the past seems daunting. Do you really want to be reminded of how awkward and weird you were? Also, what if those old boxes have been sitting there for so long there are big spiders hiding amongst your things? This is a very real fear, along with the less tangible, emotional fears you're experiencing.

5. Embarrassment

The first fear to come to fruition: embarrassment. Yes, '90s kids, you will feel a deep sense of embarrassment for what you find locked away in your '90s vault.

6. Regret

Along with cringing at what you find, you're going to regret a lot of it. Like the hundreds of dollars spent on collecting things like troll dolls and Beanie Babies, thinking that one day they'd be worth something. Or all those canvas hats with giant colorful flowers on the front. So many regrets.

7. Whimsy

Prevailing over all your regrets will be the feeling of whimsy for a time where everything was ridiculous. The wonder of the technology-crippled '90s, a time before smart phones, when the world was your oyster to tie-dye at will. For all the embarrassments, the '90s will still feel kind of magical as you go through all your old stuff.

8. Tearfulness

Watch out. There's wet weather ahead. Of course you're going to get a little teary for the past, especially as your old things bring up memories. Both the sad ones and the happy ones will leave you with a little dust in your eye.

9. Pride

And then you start Instagramming #tbt no matter what day of the week it is. Because you're proud of your bad '90s self, and your awesome '90s past, and of that terrible Sisqo portrait you made in high school and your white jeans and your hair butterflies and all your old copies of Smash Hits magazine.

10. Longing

You'll start to miss those halcyon days of the '90s, and how carefree you were growing up, despite your platform, Spice Girls-inspired Sketchers. You'll start to miss a time before Twitter, before everyone was super connected, and when your mom would give you 20 cents to call her to pick you up from the mall when you were hanging out with your friends.

11. Mirth

Overall, you'll finish your trip down memory lane with a feeling of happiness. Whether it's laughing at who you used to be or laughing that you had such a great time, you'll pack away your things again feeling full of mirth.

Images: New Line Cinema; Giphy (6)