I have joked with countless people about my hoarding problems, as if they are not a big deal.
Sure, I keep a lot of little knick-knacks and scraps of paper because they represent memories. But my habits are nothing like those of the crazy people on the TLC’s show Hoarders. At least that is what I tell myself.
Recently, while I taking the usual two hours to clean my room, I noticed that the amount of keepsakes was starting to get out of hand. I worry that once I move out of the house, and no longer have my mother to force me to get rid of things, the hoarding problem will be far worse.
I have never thrown away a single card that I have ever received.
I still have a pair of shoes from fourth grade because “they carry memories.”
I have a receipt from that day I went to 7-11 in 2011.
I cannot remember the last time I threw away a movie ticket stub.
I have empty candy boxes from presents dating as far back as my tenth birthday.
I have all of my essays from second grade and on.
I either own a rock, some sand, or a bottle of melted snow from every place I have ever visited.
My phone has currently run out of memory, due to space taken up by almost four thousand photos. I take a screenshot of anything that makes me think, laugh, grin, or cry. I feel a strange need to keep all of the pictures. I cannot bring myself to delete a single email, not even ‘lost’ emails from sixth graders. Each inbox nears around 3,500 emails. Everything seems highly important to me, although it is hard to explain why.
It almost feels as if I am desperately trying to hold on to every memory I have. If I do not have physical proof, then it did not happen.
I know many others just like me, people who are discomforted by the thought of change.
In the fast-paced world we live in, many aspects are out of our control. Those who fear change are desperate to hold on to the past.
Maybe the unpredictability of the future does scare me. It seems like only yesterday, I was talking about my new baby brother at show-and-tell. In less than a year, he will be headed off to high school.
I am still learning to accept that time does not stop for anybody. I will need to face change, whether I like it or not.
I admit that I probably do need to take charge of the whole hoarding issue. But I see no harm in having (just a few) relics to look back on!