I never thought of myself as a hoarder.
My garage isn’t filled with collectible action figures, my kitchen cabinet isn’t filled with cleaning rags in every thinkable color and my shelves aren’t covered with limited edition Ferbies.
I am a much more subtle hoarder and I only realized it when I reached early adulthood. Perhaps I’m not really a hoarder – perhaps I am collector of memories, of experiences, of images.
I am a collector of tickets.
In my room, I have a floor length mirror up against the wall and surrounding it, like delicate flower branches, are dozens of tickets. Concert tickets, festival tickets, restaurant cards, film tickets, business cards, festival bracelets, camping tickets – all carefully kept until I put them on my wall. Some are in pristine condition; the ink is still perfectly black and the edges of the paper are still sharp. This while others are completely drained of color, smudged, torn or frayed.
Each and every one of those tickets, no matter how torn or smudged they are, are reminiscent of fun memories, of beautiful experiences and good times. Every once in a while, I stand still before my intricate web of memories and I think back of all those moments, from dark film theaters to sunny festival fields and from smoky concert halls to tapas restaurants.
Declutter my life? I’ll throw away my trash, but never my collection of memories.