Sunday, June 24, 2012

IT’S HARD TO BE A MINIMALIST WHEN YOU’RE A SENTIMENTAL SOUVENIR-KEEPER




I am a Cancerian and so apart from being family-oriented, creative, and moody, I am also sentimental. I am in love with the past; in fact, I have the tendency to hold on to certain people, events, and memories. I do not just hold memories in my head and my heart, I make sure I creatively record special moments through a poem, a song, a short story, a journal entry, a sketch, or a painting.

Most of the time, these creations aren’t enough; I keep a memento: a concert receipt to remind me of when I met a certain guy for the first time, a plane ticket or a boarding pass that signifies a turning point in my life, a piece of tissue paper from a coffee shop where I had an amazing conversation with a kindred spirit, the wrapper of a chocolate bar shared with someone I thought had potential.

Some of them are a little weirder and really not that small, such as a blue plastic cup that someone special drank from.

Not so long ago, I was heavily into souvenirs. Most of them were made of paper, like tickets and stubs, tissue paper, flyers, invitations, and magazine pages, so it was pretty easy to collect them in a scrapbook. I actually enjoyed scrapbooking. There was something very therapeutic about cutting the mementos, visualizing where to place them on the pages, and then finally gluing them, scribbling the dates and some trivia.

As for the bigger-sized items, like that plastic cup, and some stuffed toys, and knickknacks, they all went straight to this big box.

And then life happened. I became busy with stuff, so I stopped scrapbooking. I still made sure I’d get little souvenirs from special meetings, dates, or trips, but they just ended up in a corner and gathered dust.

I recently realized, when I discovered a faded concert ticket inside my wallet, that I am still as sentimental as I was years ago. I still keep these little souvenirs to remind me of special people and moments, but that I have also been stopping myself from overdoing it.

It’s really hard to be a minimalist when you’re the sentimental type (especially the kind that is into souvenirs), but it’s still possible to be a sentimental minimalist.

One thing I do is take photos of the items (different angles, of course!) so I can let go of the actual stuff. This has provided me with more storage space (in real life), but I still have something to remind me of that special person or event.

It’s also important that I stop myself from bringing home a souvenir. Besides, in this digital age, a snapshot, a blog entry, or even a series of tweets or Facebook posts are more than enough to remind you of that special someone/event.

I may no longer have a problem with souvenir-keeping (I do it digitally now!), but I still have some scrapbooks and some boxes of actual souvenirs to deal with. I can’t wait to spend one of these weekends taking photos and scanning pages—while reminiscing, of course.

And oh, I can’t wait to let go of the actual items.