Heart Shaped Box


I took a nice stroll through memory lane yesterday. I found this box I keep full of certificates from school and dance school. Short stories and photographs. I even found a book from when I left secondary school which people had written in to wish me luck in the future.

I completely forgot I had all of this, but I remembered why I kept them. It was to remind myself of who I was, and who I am now. To remind myself of all I had accomplished, and to remind myself that I use to have a hunger inside of me (I’m not referring to hunger for food, that’s a given).

When I left university, I had a really hard time finding work. It was mission impossible, it was disheartening, and although I was prepared for it to be difficult, I wasn’t prepared enough. I found a stack of CVs in this box, all in envelopes and some with addresses on them. I had planned to send them out to every publishing house within a ten mile radius. I think I eventually got an internship which is why I never sent them out. I forgot I had that kind of determination.

I also found some stuff from my teenage years that reminded me of a darker time which I won’t divulge now, but it reminded me that I have come a long way. Every now and again, I forget. I get so caught up with day to day life, with stressing about every little detail. I stress about my future and whether I will settle down, I stress about whether I will ever pluck up the courage to go for my dreams, I stress that I’m not doing enough. Then I look into this box, and I remember me from ten years ago.

I found a lot of things in there from my friends who I am  lucky enough to still have in my life. It made me smile reading their teasing words scrawled on papers in felt tip pens, and markers.

What I’m getting at here, is that it is really hard to remember who you are sometimes, no matter how strong a personality and character you are. People infect your mind with their own perceptions of you, and your own insecurities justify their words. Your brain stores these words and memories in a volt of your own design to tell you you’re not good enough. Never let anyone make you feel guilty for living your life the way you want to.

I’m not a stranger to people trying to put me down because they don’t understand me. I think it scares them. I have never understood this logic. We are all made different, and there is a beauty in that. I believe you should meet people who inspire you and teach you different things. The problem is, I have my own volt. And sometimes I believe these words because, I’m human. Crazy…but human.

But this box, the one filled with certificates and short stories scrawled in notepads, messages from friends, CVs, my university dissertation and essays. It reminds me of everything I have accomplished and built my life around. It reminds me of everything I have achieved, and shows me what I can achieve still. It’s cheesy, but it’s bloody good fun.


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