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, SO, SO MANY MEMORIES!!!!
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.