Well, we’ve made it. The last issue of the Fall semester. The next time the Other Press hits the stands will be in frigid January days. January 2016. As always, with the New Year come new trials, tribulations, and tests. Knick knacks and garbage. Successes and failures. Time eventually weighs us down with physical and emotional memories and we’re left with no other option than to pick what truly means something and what’s merely been a delightful acquaintance in passing.
My desk at home is an utter mess right now. The captivating lustre of Ikea laminate buried under a disturbingly large mountain of receipts, notes, articles, and other random bits and bobs. It’s a sight familiar to any high schooler, hopeless nostalgic…or hoarder. Fortunately, I’m fairly certain I don’t fall under the lattermost category, and, being a college graduate, I’m no high schooler, which leaves me as nothing more than a hopeless nostalgic.
I’ve always been a bit of a packrat. I just can’t help it. And there’s nothing wrong with holding onto objects that mean something to you—objects that trigger some lost feeling long ago imprinted—that needn’t be explained to anyone else. But our memories, like our storage spaces, do have a maximum capacity. You can’t keep everything forever. It’s deciding what’s important, what’s most important, that creates the tough calls. Anyone can squirrel every trinket away, but it’s not necessary, and not right.
If every moment is spent trying to hold onto the past, are you really living life as it’s meant to be lived? A stagnant person is a person in regression. If you’re not up, you’re down. If you’re not forward, you’re backward.
Some things are best in the moment.
As we race towards the first of January and New Year’s resolutions, take some time for a bit of early spring cleaning. It doesn’t have to be of the physical variety. Similar to how a childhood collection of toys can be remembered by keeping just one or two as mementos, the same can be done for emotional baggage. No, don’t block that ex out of your mind completely; that relationship has had a part in creating the mosaic that is who you are today. Don’t try and erase painful memories of loss with a family member—they need to remain existing in your heart. But don’t hold onto everything. Don’t allow those thoughts to dominate your mind. Keep only what you need. A piece. A scrap. A token for the memory machine.