In the past two weeks, I’ve been slowly packing and cleaning my room for my move up north. One of my drawers contains a lot of memories from the past. Once the Pepcid, paraphernalia, and a couple of hats have been removed, many diverse objects and trinkets lie in the drawer. It’s almost like a mini visual biography of me.
Throughout the years, I’ve accumulated a sizable amount of letters, and I keep every single one received. Browsing through some of them brought nostalgic feelings. The “love” letters from high school remind me of how silly I was (and could be) as a person. The thank you cards reminds me of favors I’ve done, special ceremonies I’ve attended, you name it. Then there are the celebratory ones like holiday cards and graduation condolences.
Evidently, one of my nicknames in high school was Panty.
In the corner of the drawer are pictures of dances I went to in high school, which reminded me of one of my favorite quotes: “His life was like that. It was a mosaic of fragments. Details and contexts would fade and be inaccurately recalled, but the feelings and the experiences would weave over time into a tapestry equally full of good times and bad” – Lee Child. Those years contained memories of my first high school friends. Of playing water polo and swim. Of the drama I was involved in. Of my arrogant, self-centered, insecure self trying to garner acknowledgement. But alas, the identity crisis helped shape who I am today.
Then there’s a book a friend gave to me in 11th grade: Hard Love. I ironically had feelings for her at the time! There’s also a half-filled art book filled with my sketches of Dragon Ball Z and of Pokemon from my pre-teen days. There’s also the spur-of-the-moment stamp collection after becoming envious of my sister’s own hoarding. The same goes with the booklet of foreign coin and currency. Last but not least, there’s the case full of markers that I used in my childhood days to create art.
Memories are what you make of it. Lee’s quote speaks the truth for many of us. As the pendulum of time swings to one side, we’re confronted with bad times. Yet, as it swings to the other side, we are then blessed with good memories. One of my most influential figures, Captain Graham, describes life as a roller coaster. Even though a person is experiencing a downfall, rock bottom will eventually be reached and there’s nowhere to go but up once again. In the meantime, it’s quite the thrill surviving the hardships and accumulating stories along the way.
Understanding the aforementioned quote and the analogy is critical to perceiving the world in a more positive manner. By knowing that it is normal to have off days makes one take life less seriously. To make them appreciate being presented with challenges to overcome. To make them cherish the good times while mending the cuts and bruises from the bad.
Eh, what do I know? It’s much easier said than done, being a rational (or irrational) species and all. I hold grudges as much as the next person. I dwell on ancient memories. I think of hypothetical scenarios that recreate the past. Yet, I still don’t have a single regret to this very day.
Look at your mosaic. Now, envision what it will look like in the future. It’s you who puts the pieces together, after all.