Friday, 14 June 2013

A life packed up in a series of precious bags.

There is a sense of nostalgia that comes with packing up the entirety of one's belongings and looking around at an empty room, holding nothing but a mass of bin bags and a few boxes. You can find yourself looking at this and realising that this is it. This little pile of things is all that you have in the world.

 It is a mesh of bizarre items, collected over time and have no other similarities with each other, other than each one of them explains another little section of you. When put together, you have years of carefully planning and spontaneously buying and furiously saving up for, all amounting in the different aspects of you.

If you are anything like me, and find it hard to part with a lot of the items you have gained over the years, you can begin to look into things and see parts of your life that would have been otherwise dead and forgotten about, had you not held onto the little keepsake from that era that smiles up at you when you find it years later and are reminded of the time when this item was in the front view of your pile of items.

I have things like that. I have a Napoleon Dynamite figurine that speaks out lines from the movie. Every time I see it, I remember the years I spent with a group of friends where that movie and Bill Bailey's 'Part Troll' stand up show, were all that we would talk about. I remember the uncanny impression my friend Dave had of Napoleon's brother. I remember how I had first heard his impression before I had had a chance to watch the movie. And so, as a result, it feels like the brother is impersonating Dave, rather than the other way round. I remember nights in, watching these movies at friends' houses. I remember the different dynamics in the group, the ones that would want to talk all the way through a movie, the ones that would want to talk with  the movie, and the ones who would press pause on the movie the moment any of the above began.

I have a pair of white shoes with a silver heel. They have completely fallen apart and are no use to wear again, but I keep them because they remind me of a time in my life when I had these amazing four friends. I had bought the shoes when I was out with one of them. I remember the reaction I had had when I saw them. I remember what I said word for word: "These are so unbelievably tacky, I have to buy them!" I remember buying a black and white dress to go with them. I remember that that night I had gone out to a party, wearing this ensemble. That I had been with these four friends, that it had been an amazing night. I remember being so happy that day. I remember feeling like I belonged.

I have a small statuette of a Greek woman throwing herself on a man. I bought that when I was in Cyprus, after I had been through a really crappy time and moved away from all the friends I have mentioned so far. I remember buying the statuette whilst on holiday with One-And-Only-Daniela. I remember saying to her that I had bought it as my little beacon of hope. That it was the thing to keep me inspired to finish writing the first book I had ever written. It was about Greek Mythology and this was my little reminder that I had a story to tell. It worked. I remember keeping it on my desk and staring at it for ages, using it as my focus whilst I worked through the story lines in my head.

People often ask me why I hold onto things. Why I get upset when something I have had for such a long time has gone missing or is thrown away. The reason is simple. Everyone else might look at my crap and see it for what it seems, which is, admittedly, crap. But only I can look at it all and see so much more. I see my life. I see my hurts and regrets, my accomplishments and triumphs. I see me. And without them to constantly remind me of personalities and strengths once had and now lost, I'm afraid I'll lose those parts of me forever.

Peace out my lovelies.

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