echoes of a memory

i find myself being sentimental while packing up to leave this place i’ve called home for 20 years, occasionally shocked that in a not-too-distant future, i would no longer have a reason to drive on the same road that leads here anymore. as i’m sorting out which items to throw and which to keep, i find myself categorising these objects. if an object invokes some kind of memory, i’ll keep it. if it doesn’t, then i’ll thank it and give it away. but as in life, nothing quite comes so easy. some objects feel like memories long forgotten, that which i feel like i could recall if only i had more time. i find myself reluctant and taking pictures i’m never sure i’ll see again – just to hold on to something in the off-chance i recall the memory. something precious forgotten. i find myself wondering about what would happen if i died right this moment and people had to go through my physical and digital hoarding.

i suffer from this terrible affliction called Sentimentality. it’s like an old friend you’re visiting at his death bed. you had good times and you treasure him as a person but you know things aren’t the same anymore and you cannot force things to be like it was when it was good in the short time before you say goodbye. i remember once thinking that every single present moment immediately becomes the past and even the future will eventually pass and that made me incredibly sad. what is used often as a phrase to symbolise acceptance and peace brings me great conflict and pain: “this too will pass” – it will never come again. of course this means you should just treasure the moments but i find it incredibly hard to do.

i was telling ma about my retirement plans – “i’d live off passive income and experiment with cooking every day” and she smiled a terribly sad smile and said “that’s good but i probably won’t be around anymore” and i honestly didn’t feel like living anymore. because one day, this conversation will also become an echo of a memory. nothing precious lasts. and all i want is for them to last forever. but all i have is pain.

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