This I Believe

Jordan - Buffalo Grove, Illinois
Entered on May 1, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: legacy

As I grow older, I find myself throwing less and less away. I’ve always been a very nostalgic person, and sometimes it seems as though I can never let a single thing go. While my friends and family seem to think my behavior is just a little bit weird, I believe that remembering your past is a good thing – and that you should never lose sight of what’s behind you.

To me, photographs and scrapbooks are not a good enough reminder of my past. I save clothing and toys, gum wrappers and scraps of paper, movie tickets and flower petals. I save pretty much everything I can get my hands on. I don’t want to let my memories slip away – ever.

I also believe that change isn’t necessarily a good thing all the time. Recently the beach house in which I spent my childhood summers playing in was put up for sale – and sold. I was devastated.

When we heard the news, my family and I drove down to the house to empty out our personal belongings. I nabbed everything I could take: the armrest cover from the couch, the old rubber ducky from the bathtub, the brush I used to get rid of the sand off of the bunk beds. I hated to give up what I believed I should keep forever and ever. I hated to give up such a prominent part of my past.

I suppose moving on is a good thing, but for me I’d rather keep things the same for the rest of my life. I like the comfort of knowing I have the option to “relive” past memories, a chance to return to a happier place and time. Most of all though, I think that a person’s memories make them who they are. Without a past, there can be no present, no future – no anything. To me, a life without memories is a not a life worth living. There’s no question that I would not be who I am today without the memories of my grandparents, that beach house, kindergarten, or countless other times and objects that have been a part of my life. Just as you learn from your mistakes, you learn from your memories.

Maybe my views on the past are a bit extreme, but overall I believe that where you came from has the most influence on where you are going. The things I currently do may not seem important now, but in a few weeks time they will be past memories to fondly look back on and learn from. The decisions I make today will eventually become the past, but they will always be a part of my future.