Musings Collection

The Reason I Keep Everything

Sometimes I get a weird look from people when I ask for the ticket stub or the receipt. The truth is I hoard memories. I like to keep any physical reminder of a moment I otherwise may forget. I am the queen of nostalgia.

A lot of people might think it’s silly that I have a box for every year of middle and high school. I have a box for college, and for afterwards. Every once in awhile I go through one with someone to laugh at all the ridiculous things that we’d find from our past selves. It’s enlightening to see how much you’ve grown from the person scattered between pressed roses, origami-folded notes, and inside jokes.

Now, I’ve been in a semi-rut lately. Everything seems to be going really well. The odd thing is, is that whenever someone reminds me of this I have to instantly shoot back a negative. It’s either “well, this happened” or “but, it’s not totally perfect.” I simply cannot accept that things might be going well for a change. Something is always missing.

So I read an article about how sometimes mental/emotional clutter could be solved by clearing out physical clutter. Then instead of fisting pumping my life away on a Friday night I bought Hefty bags and wine. I broke my heart throwing away 10 pairs of shoes, one pair(s) of earrings (giving up on ever finding the other half), and random other things. I was relieved with the three bags of Hefty bags and an empty bottle at the end of my 3-hour cleaning spree. Once all was said and done, I opened up my memory box.

Surprisingly it was the the things that I found inside this box – the things that I kept – that helped me really get rid of the emotional clutter. I cried a little, sent plenty of Snapchats, and smiled about how f*cking fantastic life actually is. Here are some of my favorite finds:

  • Chippendales ticket
  • CMT Music Awards staff pass
  • 21st birthday cards
  • A taser my dad got me when I moved to Miami
  • Mexican pesos from some Vegas randos
  • Pathetic letters to my ex bf (thank GOD I never sent)
  • South Korean receipts
  • My flight ticket to my job interview two years ago April 19th
  • My flight ticket to NYC in 2012 that changed everything
  • My first Heat game ticket
  • Salsa dancing lesson card
  • A map of Beverly Hills drawn by Ly
  • The business card from my tattoo artist
  • The parking ticket from my first day at CMT
  • A map of Copenhagen
  • Ticket for the Louvre
  • Pajama pants from 2004 I stole from a sleepover
  • Pictures (printed!) of AOII (including one of me in a blonde wig)
  • Ticket from the ferris wheel in Santa Monica
  • Plane ticket from Washington D.C. for training
  • Multiple free drink coupons for Fat Tuesday/irish Kevins in the Keys
  • A woven Bahamas bracelet I got for donating to needy children
  • 2015 wedding memorabilia
  • A picture of Oliver as a tiny, little kitty
  • A letter from my Nashville roommate left on my bed after a mid-summer breakdown
  • A picture of me with Little Big Town
  • Korean sparkly stickers and the sweetest note from my best friend

So, while cleaning out part of my apartment was relieving, it was actually the things that I couldn’t part with that brought me true relief. I keep things organized, and I’ve never been one for being messy (except between the hours of 1am-10am on weekends — all is fair in love and pizza).

So you know that if I keep something it must really mean something.

The reason I keep everything is because I don’t like to lose things – including myself. I keep everything to remind me of that. To remind me that I’m okay because I have these things, had those things, and because I love(d) those things.

I hope I can accept that even though it’s in my nature to want more, see more, and have more… it’s okay to accept what I have for the moment and relish it. I can relax. I can breathe. Maybe not for too long, but at least enough to realize that I’m doing just fine. Everything else will work itself out. It always does.


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29 thoughts on “The Reason I Keep Everything

  1. I definitely have a box of my own. I keep movie ticket stubs, old school ID cards, passports, postcards, decorative coins (like flat pennies), and maps that I’ve annotated. I even have my old iPod Mini. I like looking at them every now and then ’cause it reminds me where I’ve been and who I am. And I imagine that one day someone will open that box, see those things, and totally get me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wish I had my memories organized better like you. I just have a drawer at home of knickknacks, and I also have a folder where I’ve collected random notes and cards, but it’s near the tearing point. Your system sounds more aesthetic. I’m also afraid to delve into them because if it’s anything like my social media past, I’ll be cringing! “Did I really post that? No wonder no liked it!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh trust me it’s definitely embarrassing to dive into it. I found an entire rap that my friend and I wrote/performed and now wonder how the F we thought we were normal, hah. Any regular shoe box will do!


  3. I like to keep things, too. I keep concert, plane, and movie tickets, brochures from places I’ve visited, and other memorabilia that brings back wonderful experiences I’ve had. They’re not organized in a box or anything like that, but I should do that. It would be a fun project.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes absolutely!! Easier to keep it stored all in one place so you can also go through it all together. I used to decorate them when I was younger but now I just use the box to my favorite purse or favorite pair of shoes and call it a year.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. If you are the queen of nostalgia I definitely live in your kingdom. 🙂
    I hang onto everything, tickets, napkins from bars, drink stirrers from Vegas, letters, notes, brochures, etc.
    I do need to organize mine better though, all my memories from grade school to now are tucked away in 3 big plastic totes. I might have to have a clean up and organize day but it really is an all day project because I tend to get lost in all the memories…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes me too! So easy to get lost when you come across something you forgot. Time kind of stood still when I did this project. I cannot imaging doing more than one box a day either! I think eventually I’ll have to sort through them all, because I’m not sure of what’s even in some of the earlier ones haha.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I do this too! The last year or so I’ve been slowly going through boxes and throwing things away, it’s a slow process, but I do still hold onto things…More a “if I don’t get rid of this, I can’t keep this” type deal =D lol

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I can completely relate to this – I actually have paper bags combined with shoe boxes. And I’m not sure why, but this really hit my heart in such a way that reading this actually made me cry. Amazing, as usual.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh you are totally not alone. I have two show boxes of random letters, post cards, gifts, birthday cards and every single baseball game I have been to. When I moved to texas from Florida I actually left some clothes just fit my memory boxes (I did take them out of the box to make more space) lol


  8. It’s nice to see I’m not the only hoarder around here! I can’t bear to throw things out, not old cards, not old keepsakes from ex boyfriends, not even years-old cinema tickets that have lost the ink now! The smiles they bring back when I look back at my keep-sakes make the cluttered up space they take worth it 🙂


  9. Enjoying the blog, refreshingly liberating to flagpole your heart, isn’t it? [insert: applause]

    Wondering — “The business card from my tattoo artist”— Do you have any ink to show for it? If so, what’s your lifelong art? And, if I may, where is it stamped?

    Liked by 1 person

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