Do you ever hold on to things and you’re not sure quite why? I have knick knacks that make up a well-told history, but really have no meaning. Some may hold some sentimental memories, but there’s no real value in any of it. And no, I’m not talking hoarder-style. I do have a lot of belongings, but the majority of it is clothing and books.
However, there are some things I’ve held on to past their time of need. Some date back years, while other only weeks. For instance, I have a framed photo of my best friend from high school and I on the shelf in my living room. We haven’t spoken since early in college, but I keep that picture on display. I’m not sure why, I just never thought to replace it.
I have a piece of loose leaf paper I once received folded eight times from a stranger when getting off of the bus at my college campus. After a bad day – of which I don’t remember the cause today – I read inspirational words on that paper. When I looked up to see who had turned my day around, I saw no one. It didn’t change my life, but the words written in blue ink have remained tacked to my cork board since.
Every single spare button that’s come attached to a sweater, jacket, shirt or blazer I’ve purchased are bunched together in a small sack. I doubt I’ll ever do anything with one of them, and many are from clothing that’s long gone. Still, I keep them on hand.
I have Beanie Babies, remember those? Not the entire collection from my childhood – those are boxed up somewhere in the basement at my parents’ house. I have four, all of which I believe I’ve obtained since leaving for college, and – if I remember correctly – were given to me by my mom. There’s a pink sock monkey, his name is Poet. The other three are a pig (of course), a giraffe and a bear. Every time I have to find a place to put them, I wonder why they’re still around or how Maize hasn’t de-stuffed them, but still … I keep them.
Yet, in spite of all the things I keep without knowing why, there are other things that must go. Eventually, once treasured cards get tossed in the trash. The now rarely printed photograph gets replaced. Things break, they fall apart, and lose their necessity. Other things, are harder to throw away, but simply need to go so you can let go. Tonight, I did just that.
A bag full of damaged property that held nothing but poor memories was taken out to the alley and shoved into an overflowing garbage bin. The musty smell that had been hidden in a storage room for months was finally removed. The only belong worth saving had been recovered – yes I know the exact date – on November 25, 2012. It was a ring I had adored and feared was destroyed beyond repair. But lo and behold, the first time I ventured into that bag of nightmares, it was found.
I’m not sure why we hold on to faded memories, in our mind’s eye or with physical objects, but we do. What’s in the past is just that, passed. And perhaps it shouldn’t matter, but it does.