The Memories We Never Make


Today was a day spent cleaning. I found way too many things that remind me of way too many things. This is the downside of only seeing your room at home a few months out of the year, things tend to stay the way you left them when life was different.

I finally forced a drawer of memories that started, coincidentally two years ago today, to relocate down to the garage. I had forgotten to remember that said items have been overstaying their welcome in the bottom drawer of my life for well over a year now. I think it’s about time for me to forgive myself for my impulsive actions and move on.

Forgiveness is an interesting game. Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish whether we are waiting for someone to forgive us or whether we are trying to forgive ourselves. It is intriguing how we entrap ourselves either way, feeling like the book is still wide open until some external factor sets things right, when really we can close the book any time we want.

It all makes me think about the various people who come in and out of our lives and the things they manage to contribute to us or teach us before leaving. I wonder what things I may have contributed to those whose lives I am no longer a part of for whatever reason, typically just from innocent drifting away. We almost inevitably keep small reminders of these people, mere tokens of their existence relevant to whatever small role they may have played in the grand scheme of things.

I suppose the sentimentality isn’t totally pointless then. It all means something, or at the very least it all meant something. Some people are there to take us for a ride — to be present for a long time and help form the person we become and the experiences that become our lives.

Some people pick us up when we are down, take us out for a nice day, relatively speaking, get our mind off things, show us the open window next to the door that was closed, and then drop us off curbside wishing us the best of luck as they drive off into the horizon, never to be seen again. They pick us up off our beaten path and set us down on a different one, give us a small shove, and they are gone as quickly as they appeared.

So today, cleaning, I found a lot of finished business, but amidst all of that, I found a book of postcards I never gave myself the chance to send. But sometimes in life we buy postcards and we don’t get the chance to send them. Sometimes the path takes a turn for the unexpected.

It’s interesting how most of the keepsakes we hold refer to experiences that we had, while some of them, even more powerfully at times, point to the things that never actually happened, and they were never intended to be “keepsakes” in the first place. They are the cliffhangers, the intentions that got cut just short of becoming actions, the half-written story that we read through years later and wonder what we had in mind for the ending back when it was a work in progress. Or maybe we hadn’t even thought about the ending at all. Maybe we didn’t like to end stories.

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