“Beta, that’s literally just a page with doodles on it- of course I threw it away.”
You know what? No. That’s not just a piece of paper with doodles on it because it has memories imprinted on it.
What you see when you look at it: Miscellaneous crap.
What I feel when I look at it: tremors of laughter working their way up my shaking body as my best friend and I hunch over our shared school desk and draw at the back of our notebooks while discreetly trying to hide from the teacher, giggling uncontrollably. That’s a memory, that’s a story, people! You don’t just throw that away.
I’ve always been a hoarder. Hoarding is practically in my blood. Yes, there’s the, “I might need this piece of wooden stick sometime in the future, who knows?” mentality- which isn’t very helpful, I know- but there’s also something that means a lot to me when I decide to keep some totally useless things: sentimentality.
I mean, when you have your own room- a place completely and positively yours- would you like it to be as minimalist as possible or would you want it to be a maelstrom of memories, nostalgia, inspiration, little thing- boy band posters, favorite books, magazine cut-out quotes, even the colour of your wall- building up a picture of you?
I guess my parents don’t get that. Recently, my room went under a total Emergency Furniture Fiasco (“EFF-ing Hell” as I like to call it. Pretty smart, huh?). So, majority of my furniture was thrown away and replaced by larger- but complicatedly- less furniture. Which means: less storage space. Damn.
My Dad is a bit of a hyperactive bunny in an adult body when it comes to cleaning out stuff. That man can’t and won’t stop until a room has been cleaned and perfected to his satisfaction. But, would it be too much to ask if he just asks for my opinion before he goes all land mower on my stuff? Turns out, a lot of damage didn’t happen. All of my stuff was cramped in this one huge drawer; but did that make me feel any better? No! Because I wasn’t there to supervise anything personally and so there’s a possibility that a lot of stuff has been thrown away and I don’t even know what that is. What if I forget about that stuff, those memories?
So, what if it’s just a small block of wood that you and your friends found on the school grounds and marveled over what a perfect piece of wood it was, the same wood you exchanged with a friend for a book, the piece of wood you solemnly named, “The Wood”; so what if it’s a small figurine of a crystal quartz angel that someone who means a lot to you gifted you for protection and happiness? Those straw emojis that someone made for your birthday and distributed them to your classmates to give it to you the moment you enter the class? All those handmade posters of book and movie references? All those cards, friendship bands, letters, chat notes, photographs, inside jokes?
I like collecting stuff that means something to me; stuff that’s a breath of a laugh, of good times, of happy memories every time I glance at it. I want these good times plastered all over my living space, reminding me of love and laughter and those forever promises. I want myself to sink to the floor many years later, a box full of ridiculous memories in my hands and I want myself to remember those moments and people and laugh and cry over them.
I owe that to my future self.