Sometimes, I’m a hoarder.
Moving has unearthed all the little things I’ve collected for memory’s sake: soaps from places I’ve stayed at (I was convinced in the power of olfactory memory, but unfortunately time has made that one soap from Italy and the other from Cambridge smell pretty much the same to me), notes from junior year of high school, old photos, and tons & tons of books.
What am I saving things for? What’s the point?
Life is so very short and precious. I hope this never becomes a stale sentiment to me, for the reminders of this fact tend to be brutal and lachrymose. A young death, a family tragedy, a crippling disability–all tend to illuminate this fact.
I want to start really living. We cannot anticipate nostalgia, so why relegate entire sections of our lives to a “story” that may or may not happen? That’s a half-life full of cautiously walking on eggshells and perfectly arranging the subconscious parameters of your personality & behavior to modify how you would like your “story” to turn out.
All this time I was misinterpreting the Donald Miller-ian ” live like your life is a story you’d want to read” idea to be void of unforeseen circumstances, but rather a paradigm that guaranteed the colorful, adventurous life good stories are made from.
Sometimes, (pardon my French) shit happens. I did not plan to break my foot (and possibly be limited in certain mobility for a very long time, an altogether terrifying idea). I did not plan to move to Pennsylvania. I did not plan to be living with my family.
One must live NOW. I cannot live a half-life until my circumstances improve & expect everything to magically become perfect then.
I guess what I’m attempting to say is this: Use those old soaps from hotels, pursue that dream that makes you happy, talk to that person who you secretly love, travel, run a half-marathon. Do these things now, because there is no guarantee the same opportunities will wait for you.
[tl;dr Don’t anticipate nostalgia. Go live.]