I grew up thinking that in order to remember something, I had to hold on to it. This cluttered my shelves with boxes of ticket stubs, old CD’s, porcelain cats on cats on cats, and so much more. But with each item came a memory, and I was terrified to let it go, thinking that it somehow meant I didn’t value that memory any more. Then I read this article on one of our favorite blogs, and something clicked.
It wasn’t that my rusty nail collection really resonated with me as a 20-something, it was that I had placed meaning in those nails instead of the actual memories of my sister and I scouring my grandparent’s old farm sheds for treasure to proudly display on our shelves. Once I came to terms with that, I’m happy to report that I have maintained the memories of our family trip to Mount Rushmore just fine without the cornhusk doll and unicorn windchime (cue JD’s praise hands).
JD and I have moved seven times in four years and each time I have gotten rid of a little more me and gained a little more us. It’s not that I don’t hold on to little mementos anymore. I’m perfectly happy with three Celine Dion mugs to commemorate a few of my trips with Dad, but I’m more careful about where I place my value, and that’s helped me view my memories as what they are — so much more than trinkets.