Most of my life I have been called a hoarder. Why? I'm not sure. I don't see anything wrong with holding on to ticket stubs, scraps of pretty paper, magazine articles (or sometimes the whole magazine) …Isn't "junk" in the eye of the beholder?
Enter the junk journal. No, it's not a journal that Oscar the Grouch would keep. It's a handmade journal where different types of media from ephemera to photos are kept. It can something as simple as a bunch of index cards held together on a binder ring or something more involved like a hand-sewn book chock full of pages covered in different types of ephemera, scraps of fabric, and various other items. And yes, I fell down the rabbit hole.
I began to comb through YouTube, looking to learn more. As I watched video after video, I realized that a junk journal wasn't a book where one would take things that were lying around the craft room (or the house) and glue them down on the pages. For some it's a creative outlet, thinking through how they want the page to look and executing the plan. For others, like myself, it is a place to encapsulate memories. Looking through the things I "hoard," each item has a story attached to it. I have business cards from restaurants and places I have visited both local and during travel. I have tags from items that I have bought or have been gifted to me. I even have receipts from the coffee houses that I have visited. But to some, the amount of these types of things I have kept should be considered a fire hazard.
These things that people deem as "junk" are another way that I can tell my story. Instead of using words, I can take these bits and bobs and put them to a page. When put all together, it weaves my memories, wishes, hopes, and dreams. It's something that my children and my future grandchildren can look at and see some of themselves in. All the pieces once put together equal me.
Now when people look at some of the things I keep and call me a "hoarder," I'm OK with that. I enjoy being the hoarder of memories.
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