Memory Clutter

Intoxicated by Memories and Feelings

I’ve been going through my stuff recently and getting rid of unnecessary items that I have collected over the years.

As I was doing this the other day, I came across a torn slip of paper. To an outsider, this paper would be trash, but simply by looking at this tiny slip of paper, I was transported back to the place that it ended up in my possession. It was a vivid memory–full of laughter and enjoyment, but it also brought me sorrow because I don’t have those moments anymore.

This is why I find it difficult to throw away even the simplest of items because, even if it means nothing to anyone else, it means something to me. It’s a frozen piece of time from a moment long ago.. or possibly not so long ago.

My mom has always been the type to throw away everything. She hates clutter. To be honest, I hate clutter, but I always find it difficult to let go of these seemingly insignificant material items.

It’s not like I don’t have the memories. I could go back to them anytime I’d like, but being able to touch, see, smell, hear something that was there the moment the memory was created helps me feel more connected. It’s like hearing a song that you used to love as a childhood and immediately remembering every word to the song the moment you hear the tune and sheer joy washes over you.

Smiling like a goofball, I stared at this little piece of paper for about five minutes before I realized that I needed to let it go.

By investing in my past, I am holding back my future. So, I crumpled this little sheet of paper up and sent it packing with all the other clutter-causing agents.

I think it’s important to remember your past and to cherish the memories you have, but material items shouldn’t control you.

Now that I’m trying to move out of the country, I’m trying to weigh what is really important against what I simply keep to remember. More often than not, the trash can wins the day.

I will always cherish the memories I have, but I need to let go of the material aspect of them. Plus, pictures are mainly digital now… and digital doesn’t count as clutter. 🙂



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