Tuesday, 15 September 2015
Today I discovered that my dad has thrown out two boxes of toys - one of Fischer Price doll house pieces and another full of Barbie dolls. Despite the fact that I haven't opened either of these boxes in over a year, the thought of them gone forever makes me feel like crying. Within those little plastic pieces was the essence of childhood and nostalgia. Those pieces had distinct places in a house, those Barbie dolls had personalities, and attached to every single piece were countless forgotten memories.
Not too long ago I read a lovely little piece on this topic, which can be found HERE. It's all about the idea of holding onto physical items and never letting go. We relate them back to memories we had with them, fabulous experiences. They're tangible reminders that live close to our hearts, and once they're gone we feel a consuming sense of loss. Even though it's not, the memory seems to be gone.
I remember the personalities of those Barbie dolls. Rapunzel was always the perfect protagonist, the Bratz doll the mean girl, and the horse riding Barbie would always have to be the boy, because we never had a Ken. Perhaps if I could hold them in my hands I'd remember the pathetic stories we used to tell with them, but I don't anymore.
I do remember the people though. I don't know why, but I always relate the people to the thing and the thing to the people. I remember when we transitioned from innocent 5 year olds to somewhat sordid 8 year olds. I remember SH laughing at our inappropriate role-plays, and LC and I reenacting scenes that could rival Mean Girls. My sister and I would spend hours of our never-ending down time moving around our gorgeous dolls, changing their clothes and organising societies, and the symbol of all these hours of simple entertainment is now gone.
I reckon people are part of the reason these items seem so sacred. Even when these significant characters leave your life, you'll always have the items they left behind, the symbols of your memories. That way they're never really gone. I still remember that igloo tent we would hide in, or the kitchen set everyone enjoyed role-playing with. These items seem like real beings, breathing living beings that don't deserve to live in bins for the rest of their lives. At least I can say I gave the kitchen set to one of said role-playing friends. Maybe now when she looks at it she thinks of me. Maybe those memories have been enough of a reason for her to keep it.
I can safely say I'm a hoarder, so that kitchen set would probably have never met the bin in my hands. Maybe this hoarding nature is the reason I create physical evidence of memories, such as diaries or this blog. Maybe this is the reason I refuse to throw out crumbling phone cases or various random monumental artefacts of my past. Maybe this is the reason I still let the past dictate who I am now, because I have problems with letting go.
This year I took a huge step in getting rid of all those stuffed animals. First they were collecting dust in my room, then they were stored in a box, and finally, one day, they were just gone. My sister and I used to throw parties for them. I used to kiss every single one goodnight so that none of them would feel left out. I feel like I've repeated Toy Story 3. I'm a little late, but I'm letting go of the sacred items of my past.
Although I feel like those Fischer Price pieces and Barbie dolls could've been given to a new owner to make memories with, maybe it's a good thing that they're no longer here to clutter the house, to haunt the person I've become and am becoming. There'll always be new memories and items to treasure, and I can't keep everything or there won't be enough room inside myself to allow new things in, to grow.