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Laura Claypool / Her Campus
Mental Health

Life’s Little Crumbs

This world is a loud and bustling place. This society renders us vulnerable to never-ending judgment. We drown out the catcalls, ignore the news feeds, pretend we aren’t bothered by the looming threat of the future, a future we can’t prepare for.

These last few months I have found myself questioning a lot of things. I was at my 20th birthday party in Madcom apartment N505 when we all received an email stating our spring break would be extended. I had just blown out the candles on the purple-frosted cake, sure that whatever I wished for was bound to come true in 2020. Needless to say, sh*t hit the fan before the last partygoer left the building.

I won’t share a glimpse of my experience in quarantine. Likely, it was quite similar to your own, and frankly, that’s not what I’m here to talk about. I don’t want to talk about fear or tragedy or hate. I’m tired of talking about ignorance, though it’s an incredibly relevant topic these days. I’m mostly exhausted by these things because I have found that I’m powerless to eradicate them from the world. If you desire a discussion on these topics, feel free to turn on NBC.

I want instead to share with you a little tip for getting through a seemingly endless period of crisis. Do not succumb to feelings of anxiousness, and do not dwell on the unknown. Do not think about all we have lost, or all we stand to lose. When you find yourself slipping into darkness, I want you to start sweeping up the crumbs.

It all started with a post I stumbled upon in the dead of night, in the deepest depths of Instagram. A needle in a haystack. A beam of light breaking through the black hole of Slim Tea ads and fake news. This post stated plainly, in a simple font, “camera roll crumbs”. It was a trend, a challenge really. Dig through the leftovers of your camera roll, find the tidbits that, when put together, tell a story. Your story. Sometimes the over-edited, overly curated content that stares us in the face all day every day is just too much. And that day, I was over it.

Ultimately, the post challenges us to display and celebrate the overlooked moments. My recommendation goes beyond that.

When the weight of the world becomes too heavy to bear, pull up your camera roll, or dig out your box of dusty polaroids. Search high and wide for the nitty-gritty moments you may not have even remembered. Scratch below the surface, dig up one crumb at a time and collect them into a pile. Once you have a good handful, begin to inspect your crumbs. Sit alone or sit with your friends. Reminisce, laugh, cry, remember. Remember how your bare feet felt in the crisp green grass of a very familiar field. Remember the haze of voices, the head-pounding stereo, the mosaic of multi-colored spotlights, the best night of your life. Remember how it felt to peruse the farmers stand in early June, three Honeycrisp apples, two heirloom tomatoes, and a bottle of home-brewed kombucha resting in your ever-expanding woven market bag. Remember feeding the ducks by the pond, and wondering what they think of you, and what they would say if quacks could tell a story.

Your story is important. It is as important to you as mine is to me. The outwardly insignificant occurrences in our everyday lives are often the most meaningful. I have started making it into a habit, remembering more. Paying better attention. It is not only about our fond memories and the treasured moments of yesterday. It is also about today. What makes today special, what makes your life, today, count. The ideas you scribble on the edge of a used napkin. The warmth raining down through the open sunroof of your best friend’s Chevy Tahoe on a late Sunday afternoon. The leaves on the trees beginning to fade into orange, and those below your feet beginning to crunch. The unexpected letter in your mailbox - it’s from your grandma, she’s asking about school (you should call her btw). The fern hanging by your window, clinging to life due to your unbelievable lack of proper plant care knowledge. The stray kernel on the rug, the remaining evidence of the popcorn your roommate threw at the TV during RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Today’s glanced-over moments, glimpses of yesterday, life’s little crumbs. They will get you through the feelings of hopelessness. Every tomorrow is a new opportunity to collect more crumbs. My advice? Start remembering, start appreciating, start living.

u of new hampshire ‘22
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