Tell us the story of your most-prized possession.
Tell us the story of your most-prized possession. My most-prized possession. Possession.
Funny thing, isn’t it? Possessions? If you’re like me, at one time or another you wondered what one thing you would try to save if your house was on fire (always assuming every living being is safe). What is it that you would rush to, grab, throw it out of the window, if need be, just to make sure it wouldn’t be lost to the flames? That one thing you wouldn’t want to live without, even though you might not use it every day or even think about every day, but it is there, fixed in your heart, signifying… something important. More often than not, I would think, are these things nothing of real monetary value – but what they lack in value they make up in emotional importance.
For a long time I’ve had this wooden box, covered in beautiful ornamental carvings highlighted in white. A simple lid, no lock, but in it are my most important treasures. The letter my then-best-friend wrote me. A letter my 14-year-old self wrote to myself. Rose petals from the bouquet I got for this one dance. For years and years I put some small thing or another in there… and then something changed.
Maybe it’s that I put an (emotional) end to a lot of things in my past. Maybe it’s that the past is just no longer really important. Maybe it’s that I learned to treasure what I have now instead of holding on to some trinket. I haven’t looked in that box for years, at the moment I couldn’t even quite say where exactly it is.
I had a lot to work through these last years. I moved from one town to another, finished my studies, found new friends and hobbies, started to work, got married and had twin boys, found a completely new spiritual path, got inspired and diappointed, was loved and loved back, lost friends and built a home, if only in an emotional way. Somewhere along the lines, worldly possessions lost more and more importance, even those that are connected to memories. To be honest, if today our flat burned to the ground and nothing came out of it, I wouldn’t mourn a lot. I can even imagine to be sort of relieved, feeling free from all the clutter that gets accumulated over the years. Yes, of course, there are things I would miss and would be sad to see gone – pictures, gifts, the music on my PC, my DVD and BlueRay collection, my books… but honestly, most of these things can be replaced. Most, not all and I do hope that our flat does NOT burn to the ground ever, but I really lost the emotional connection to things when people came into my life that are irreplaceable. My husband and my children are worth way more than any old diary or the sketch my husband gave me for my first birthday after we came together or our wedding pictures. Way more than the notebook with the collected silly stories a friend and I wrote in our teens. Way more than the beautiful jewelery I was gifted or my wedding dress or the old dresser I got from my mother. Way more than all of our medial stuff, the PlayStation, the PCs, the iMac, the GameCube, the DS. Way more than our costumes and medieval clothes, our LARP equipment. All these things are beautiful and treasured but none of those are things I really couldn’t live without.
As you can see, it really is near impossible for me to talk about “my one most-prized possession”. I have a lot of possessions I treasure and love, that are connected with memories I love or with memories yet to be made. But amongst those not one thing really stands out and says “THIS IS IT”. Of all those things I couldn’t really pick one. There were times when this was different but I am really glad these times are over. I put a lot of work into disconnecting me from stuff and I didn’t even do it deliberately. Somehow, the path to myself was also the path away from too much fixations on things towards personal commitments and connections.
Thinking about the phrase “connected with memories yet to be made” I would even go so far as to say that those are the things more important to me than those that are connected with past memories. I know that a lot of people say that you have to know your past to know who you are but I wouldn’t completely agree with it. Yes, sure, past experiences shape you but they are not you. You are what you make of these experiences. Everything that makes you who you are can only do that as long as you allow it to do it.
Does that make sense?
I guess what I’m trying to say is that we all can decide who we are, at least in parts. The years after my parents’ divorce were painful but the pain is no longer a part of me: the strength that came with working through it is part of me. The knowledge that forgiveness is worth more than grudges. That is part of me, that is me. And that strength and knowledge and big heart could never be tied to a thing.