It started with the books and the other little bits and bobs. We were shifting houses for the umpteenth time and I had come down on vacation. There were yells and screams for the trash I owned and overpowered by a force unknown, I began discarding a book here, a first date souvenir with over there, my last test paper from school into the bin and something that can be “bought again (not downloaded as this was before the time I owned one)” into the big black garbage bag.
The boxes however, remained.
There are still quite a few of them, these “souvenir boxes”. Essentially old shoe boxes with a few school mementos, a memento box filled with souvenirs from a family trip to Bangkok in 2004 (back in the day I would journal everyday of the trip, or at least on the first few days and rely on the joy of “keywords”
not a word I knew in 2004 to fill in later!) packed into one giant box.
I would also read. Oh by John, I did read so much and I was also a fast reader. After school was done however, I began writing and then I became a sloppy reader. I soon became a sloppy writer too but later on that. I think I began picking and choosing what I read and I could no longer do the one-day-one-book situation. Mum and I stopped exchanging books because I became overly selective of the fiction I read. Instead I took to reading articles and blogs in abundance. My poetry phase lasted for about three years and I think it left me as I left school and left the sight of the sea every morning.
But the books went too because I had read them before.
As a child, before I could read or write (document might be a better word I feel), I would collect fragments of memory as means of preserving it. There would be a stone that I picked up from that trip when we went somewhere in the 90s (of course I wouldn’t be able to recall the moment a few years after) but I was supposedly one of those people who bore a lot of sentiment. Or rather was attached to things of sentimental value.
In my teenage years, I embraced the joy of day planners, organisers and of course, lists and in my twenties, there will always either be white paper or a notebooks and a pen (and spare pen too, duh!) in my bag.
I still carry the same things in a bag I gifted myself two years ago, maybe an extra work notebook and white sheets for random note taking, but the writing and lists seem to have been compromised by that very force that made me throw those books away. (also by throw, I mean, “give away and not burn”, lol)
I take notes on my phone, when it’s not rude. It syncs seamlessly to my laptop and more often than not, typing (in a correct position, not sprawled on the bed like now) does not aggravate that pain on my wrist. I also seem to write faster while on a keyboard it seems. Even work notes seem to have taken a shift from the regular organised notebook-system to a regular “Notes” app.
On photographs in the wallet and phone or desktop wallpapers, it was usually a no-no unless it was a celebrity (there is this story about me having a Shakira crazy phase in 2003) or some random inspirational Tumblr AF post. Living in India changed this as we needed to submit x number of passport pictures from getting an internet connection to lunch and I still to date have around twenty pictures of my face sitting in wallet since graduating three years ago.
But then we always had those random notes, letters, cards or something “written (or printed)” given by a favourite person on the list sitting in the back of my planner. Turned out, 2016’s planner was smaller in comparison to the usual and I shopped too late, which meant there was no time to get it shipped before the year ended. Hence, the sentiment-pieces sitting at the back of my planner too were compromised.
Today, sentimental is not something I would use for myself. Perhaps due to everything been made available online, there is no genuine need for me to frame that moment, but then I also occasionally wonder if this lost of sentiment is also the cause to a lot of other things I have not paid attention to lately, such as the list-taking and writing.
But more on that later.