Symbols have always been incredibly important to me. I think it’s my main draw to most jewelry and many things I have kept over the years. Going through all of my things that we saved from Hurricane Harvey has been so nostalgic and surprisingly a wonderful opportunity to stimulate memories I’d forgotten. What others may deem as junk may be a memory of passing notes to friends in 4th grade and the feelings that brought– eternalized for me in a small Lisa Frank paper journal.
I think the reason I am entranced by symbols is because of my, sometimes incapable, natural memory. The sad thing is I don’t know if I’d be able to conjure up specific memories without particular material things.
People say that things are just things and being alive is the most important and I won’t sit here and try to argue that point. However, sometimes things are more than just things. Sure, I think about 85% of the things I have and own, I wouldn’t miss. But that 15% is everything to me. From letters from people I deeply cared about that probably don’t know that I still hold them very important; to a decoration I kept on a shelf given to me by a friend. When I see these things, I am catapulted back to the past and I can feel the relationships I had with people.
Maybe that is what it all comes down to – I’d say 99% of the memories that rush back are due to a connection to another person. I don’t share deep memories with many. However, the people that I do are incredibly important to my life even if they are not in it anymore and even if they don’t know it. Some don’t seem to see or remember the deep memories so they don’t care and some are still there and willing to make more memories. I’m thankful for those that do understand that relationships are important to me. Especially the deep ones, if I’m being honest.
I have letters from 6th grade and funeral pamphlets for too many people that never knew how deeply I loved or cared about them. I have old diaries, many photos and trinkets that symbolize a memory with someone. I have items that were on my shelves and in my room growing up that show me the different stages of who I was.
In school, symbolism was and still is my favorite literary element to discover. Symbols are used to represent something else which makes me feel as if I know a secret code that others do not always see. I suppose symbols and the people that are enthralled by them make me feel more connected to a secret thought process that many ignore. When I encounter people who equally love symbols and use them to make predictions I can’t help but be enamored. This is another reason why I love most people with tattoos.
I really don’t know how I have zero tattoos. I suppose I have bought jewelry to symbolize my feelings all my life instead. I remember a locket I bought at Claire’s that asked that I put a wish into and so I wished for a funny guy with brown hair and green eyes to like me. I had a mood ring because I so deeply believe in everything imaginable. Most of my jewelry I wear is very significant to me in one way or another and most has some sort of a story. I am drawn to all types of jewelry, real and costume. Shopping trips with my mom have proven this many times in that I follow the same pattern as a bug to a light to the jewelry section of each store.
I don’t know if being an only child made me more reflective or what but I do feel that I reflect more than most people I know. A blessing and a curse I suppose. On one hand, I think I feel more deeply which can lead to deep relationships but on the other hand I think I feel more sadness upon losing something or someone.
There have been times I’ve wondered: do I find my life to be more important than others? Why would I track (trace) it with all these symbols? Why do I write this blog? I’ve always said this blog is purely written for my enjoyment but mostly, it is a place for people to go if they have any interest in knowing who I really am.
Words are some of my FAVORITE symbols, from fun letters from friends to writing down my thoughts all over everything to underlining sentences in books and writing side comments in the margins. There are so many clues I have arranged that would allow a person to explore the pathways of my brain if desired. In ways, these things, notes, writings, drawings are like a map with all of the parts making up the big picture of my identity. There are times I wish people could feel what I feel, or felt, just by looking at all of these things, words and clues but I am fairly certain, no one will and that is just to be expected.
I find it interesting that no one will ever know anyone like one knows oneself. Even the one or two people you try to share all sides of your identity with won’t fully know you. But, if people look deep enough at all the artifacts (stuff) a person has kept, maybe they’ve written some explanation or started a trail of ideas and that right there, is what I think everyone is owed when someone is searching to know someone.
I think I will always crave the opportunity to explain myself in the way I perceive myself. I’m very controlling that way. I never want anyone to get the wrong idea and I’m always looking for a way to express it correctly. I’ve found I’m not really good at this. I have a difficult time explaining my whole self. I mean, how could you anyway-when people are made up of many sides and multiple parts?
I own this book & have written many lists about things I love in it. (another set of clues)
Overall, symbols are incredibly powerful to one’s mindset. There are symbols from your past that represent memories, thought processes or beliefs but also symbols you pick up that will forever incase a powerful connection, thing, memory or person. I read somewhere that a symbol is something that continues to manifest a power even when the thing, memory or person is absent. Maybe that’s why I feel so strongly about symbols. I also see symbols as signs that someone I care about is there with it. Symbols and signs associated with a person, memory or thought process most certainly connect synapses in your brain, in turn, creating said symbols to become more and more powerful.
I also believe in anything you could possibly believe in, many of which, are associated with symbols. I’m always looking for signs from an alternate universe or a parallel one akin to the time the book falls off the shelf in the movie Interstellar. I open up books to a miscellaneous page and turn the station to a song or wait for a 3rd song to play (because that is the one that really matters) in hopes that it will give me some sort of direction or I will find that someone somewhere is trying to communicate with me. I believe in horoscopes, fortune cookies, ghosts, witches, and people in other universes. I believe that there are ways to communicate with people who have passed and I’m always looking for that too. It’s obviously not through typical communication so there must be another type of language and why not symbols and signs? It reminds me of the movie Arrival with Amy Adams. What an original yet novel idea that communication can be any different than the way we think about it right now? I loved the idea that communication could be symbolic and cyclical because I’ve never thought about it like that before. And the fact that I’ve never thought about it before makes me believe in so many more things that seem impossible but that could absolutely be possible.
After reading this post noowwww I can see why I have been referred to as “Peter Pan” and that I live “where the wild things are” in prior years. I suppose I romanticize and fantasize a lot but I also can’t accept that what we know is all there is. So, I will live my life through symbols and signs and expect more always. It’s all gotta mean something, right? And someone out there will want to know about me right? I’m not leaving these clues for no one! 😉
I often wonder the same thing about communication. Maybe this sounds strange but what if the reason we’ve never communicated with extra-terrestrials is that they don’t understand our signals? Why is it that we only deem planets we discover “possible of sustaining life” according to the things we need to sustain life? What if there are living creatures in our universe that don’t need the same things wee need to live? I know your post wasn’t about aliens but it made me think…Anyway, I think you’re right. I also have what is probably an abnormal number of trinkets and other things that I hold dear because of the memories they bring to mind. I also think that “coincidences” and other signs that we may or may not always notice are ways of communication from those who have passed or God himself…or…who knows…
Good point about communicating with aliens as a potential miscommunication! I was just thinking that I will probably not see real evidence of other life forms in my lifetime and that makes me sad. Also, we are always seeming to find other planets that are habitable but not any other types of living creatures somewhere in the universe. I’d love to see some real evidence even amid my extreme belief that something does exist out there.