A box of memories

A box of memories traveling with me to college

I made a little box. I made it over the years by collecting small things that I thought would mean something to me. Now, it wasn't merely these objects, but the memories attached to each that was so special to me. These included small cards I'd been given on my birthday, the wrapper from a gift someone presented to me, ticket stubs of movies I had watched with friends, a letter my sister wrote to me and even a pencil my dog chewed up. I meant for them to be my constant companion over time and across journeys. It was my way of keeping everything close and not feeling like I left anything behind, that something had ended. It was a connection between various periods of my life. I want to be reminded of safety, happiness and love. 

Initially, I didn't have a physical box because this was just an idea that had germinated in my head, so I used the empty draw above my junk drawer, right below my sock drawer. I collected anything I thought would mean something to me one- day, I emphasize the 'one day', Nothing I did then ever meant anything immediately because the present is not a memory of something we long for. I was careful with what I kept - I did not store trash. I solely kept things I thought would make me feel happy. I kept old Polaroid pictures, letters, notes we passed in class, an old exam sheet and on it were funny comments from a teacher, an old bottle of perfume, a napkin from a restaurant I love, a bill, a key card to a room we used on a school trip and even an empty bottle of Vicks VapoRub (I'm listing these as I look at a picture of that draw). Now mind you, these might seem like mere litter, junk, twaddle but to me, every item reminded me of something I did or somebody I missed.

Over time, the drawer started to overflow and quickly, I realized I had three drawers filled with what seemed like (to everyone else) absolute rubbish. I had to find a way to put it away, so I sat with it and cleared out everything that had lost meaning. I concluded the purge with a small box of bite-size recollections. This little box was my box of things. They evoked thoughts of moments I hoped would not cease and people I did not want to leave. I had been collecting for years, so I had ages worth of memories that I cherished so deeply that when I looked into this box, I felt all warm and fuzzy. 

I was careful enough to be realistic. I made sure that I had some memories that warned me of reality - the lonely times, the sad times, the tears shed on the pillowcase late at night, all so I could tell myself that at any given point, it is okay to cry, whine and complain, that it is okay for times to be painful, challenging and complicated because that is just the natural order of things. They made up memories too, don't they?

I am fascinated with the way this box turned out. Perhaps simply because it is so close to what I had initially envisioned. I intended for it to be my little box of everything, my faithful friend, my little slice of home, my mode of time travel and my medium of charm. This small project gave each article a meaning, a purpose, a new importance. The vision and sentiment behind each atom in the box convert it from being a crate of items into a case overflowing with magic. Every day moments were crafted into packages of nostalgia and warmth.