What to Keep While Keeping On: Not everything


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Obviously, I think keepsakes are important; I wouldn’t have written an article every week about them if I didn’t believe in their significance. However, as cliché as this may sound, I’m also here to remind you to live in the moment. 

I’ve decided I’m going to call my topic for this article “loose mementos.” This type of keepsake is one that does not take the form of a physical object. Instead, loose mementos are those memories you haven’t yet forgotten, but you also have no physical record of them. 

Of course, you’re not going to snap a photo when you have that first kiss with them. And you probably don’t have a piece of jewelry that coincides with the time you and your friends stayed up all night laughing. There wasn’t time for them to write a note to you because they just had to tell you how they felt right there in that moment. All of this is okay. 

I think one of the best things about being a human is that we don’t consistently need material objects in order to remember something special and life changing. That’s what our brains are for. Of course, I think having a keepsake for a certain memory is wonderful, but I want to assure you that’s not the entirety of the picture. 

Since we can’t predict everything that will happen to us in our lifetime, we’ll never have an object to commemorate every moment that we want to hold onto. While this idea could be viewed in a negative light, I’d rather spin it around and put a positive outlook on it. 

Loose memories, implied by the name, come with no baggage. They’re like little videos that you can play over and over again in your mind before you fall asleep at night. They’re those first impressions, laugh-attacks and moments when you swore time stood still. Even though you didn’t necessarily ask for them to be saved in your brain, they’re imprinted there. No matter how hard you shake your head back and forth, they just don’t seem to slip out of your ears. 

Inevitably, we will start to forget things, like birthdays, your kindergarten schoolteacher’s name and where you put your car keys. Like these facts that have been implanted in your subconscious, your loose memories will be lost, too. 

But that’s a long way away. Or so we assume. 

So, if we don’t think we’re going to lose any significant memories any time soon, let’s start acting like it. Although there are some objects worth keeping, I will admit we do not need to keep everything while we’re keeping on. Sometimes we aren’t prepared to keep something from a memory. Sometimes that memory happens too fast and the thought of finding something to keep from it doesn’t even cross our minds. Whatever the excuse may be to not claim a keepsake for a moment, I say we embrace that excuse. 

Keep what you can, but most importantly, keep what you want. And don’t get discouraged when there isn’t anything to keep other than a thought. Honestly, I think those are the best kinds of memories. I believe the types of moments when it feels like you inhabit the entire world just by yourself are more valuable than any object. 

All of what I am saying may seem very hypocritical of me and a little bit gaudy. I am trying my best not to preach like a self-help book, but sometimes I think we just need to stand on our cheesy soapboxes and say what’s on our minds, no matter how silly the message may come off. 

If you think I’m being ridiculous for telling everyone to not keep things after writing about the importance of people keeping things, then cool. I somewhat agree with you. But, I’m allowed to alter my opinions, just like anyone else.  

So here’s my completed opinion (at the moment): I believe creating a personal archive for some moments makes life a little sweeter. But I also think that we shouldn’t get too caught up in the race to find objects to collect. Instead, fill your life with objects when the time seems right. Fill your mind with memories when that seems right. Do both when you can, but don’t worry about the times when you can’t. 

Loose memories are just as important as photographs, hand-written notes, songs, home videos and childhood movies. No matter what you fill your keepsake collection with, I hope the mementos and memories you choose bring you joy. That is what matters most. 

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