Is there any Room for me?
“This moment will just be another story someday,” said Stephen Chbosky, author of The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I read that book back in highschool and when I came across that line, I took it in all seriousness for it to be my life motto, so everything to me turned to an amazing adventure. A trip, somebody’s voice, the feeling of a fabric, the color of the sky, even a rock. For a significant amount of time, this storytelling idea type of living was always exciting and actually helped me in having better retention skills. However, it got to a point where I felt like this was just an anticipation of nostalgia and of stories that I knew, no matter how short, would still remain with me forever. Forever. Let that sink in. Are all those particularities, whether good or bad, worthy of collecting a space in my heart and mind for all my life?
I started to believe
that my hard drive
was starting to get full.
Since my childhood, I’ve related specific characteristics of others, such as an eye color or even the thickness of hair, with what I believe to be abstractions of their environment; hazel eyes remind me of the beach, or a fabric ́s touch to a vacation. “This smells like an afternoon at grandma’s, eating toast with jelly,” or “It feels like the talk we had under the stars at the cabins.” Is this healthy? Am I limiting myself to a number of feelings or experiences by documenting my memories, as feelings in this manner? Hands down, I can say that it slows down the development of a raw outlook on things, which often leads me to sound like too much of a dreamer, but on the other side, it adds meanings to things that otherwise would go unnoticed by me. A rock, for example, would hold no significance. However, it does. Reason being, one of the most meaningful relationships I have been in, holds a story with rocks.
I traveled to Switzerland, before my ex and I dated and we were still only just friends. I asked him, without expecting too much of an answer, what souvenir would he like me to bring him from my trip. “A rock,” he responded ironically. The day of the trip came and when I visited a park in Lugano, I remembered what he said, so I picked up a small rock and brought it back with me, but really it wasn’t until a year or so later that I gave it to him.He didn’t even know I had actually brought him one.
Things led us to end the relationship and we tried not to stay in touch, yet we were somewhat aware of what our lives were then entailing. So, of course I knew, two years later, that he had traveled overseas. A couple of months after he returned, and nearly a year since we had last seen each other, we met again. “Here’s your gift from Germany,” he said, as he handed me a plastic bag, containing a piece of rock from the Berlin Wall.
No matter how fond I am of this story-telling of feelings and memories of mine, I can’t help but ask myself if there's any room left, in others, for the existence of the memories I made with them. Surely, my ex had them, but anyone else out there? This unsureness might come from that one time I was home alone as a kid, for probably less than half an hour, but which surely felt like an eternity. I really thought my family had just decided to leave, with no goodbyes, forgetting about me, and that I was now left to cook my own mac n’ cheese and somehow survive.
Ever since then I can recall my biggest fear has been that of being alone and lonely. And even if the reality is another, feelings can trick you into believing that things are a certain way, even if that’s far from it. I could say that I learned the lesson of having something for a good time but not a long time, at a young age. After giving enough thought to that, I end up doubting ever sharing a rock type of story with someone else, because it might be that all the other rock stories are already taken.
Countless nostalgia stories have been told, of old loves that were left in the past, but carried in the heart forever. Life went on, but those memories remained. I guess it does happen once in a lifetime that we have an unbreakable connection with someone. Could easily be, with our first love. They are the first person other than our caretakers, to know our weaknesses and hopes. Sometimes this relationship can last forever, if you’re in luck, but, if you’re like many, chances are that it won’t. Just like you share unrepeatable stories with someone else, so do most of us, and as dead as those stories can be, we still wake up every morning not knowing if today, another, and even better rock story can begin; and maybe this time, forever.