Photography Helped Me Get Over My Memory-Hoarding

When I was little, I was low-key a hoarder. I kept bottle tops, tickets, drawings, what I thought were pretty rocks. You get the picture. Eventually, I had a lot of random paraphernalia that had no other use to me other than to sorta remind me about that one time I had root beer at the lake. So then I started to take pictures, my way of keeping memories because it was a lot less random and messy.

By high school, I kept my point-and-shoot camera (the ones that can fit in your pocket) with me almost always. It was a touch screen and when that screen broke I think my heart did a little bit, too.

When I took photography my sophomore year , I started to see lighting and composition even when I didn't have a camera around my neck. So when I got to wear my favorite accessory, I took full advantage of it. While I enjoyed scenic and architectural shots, I loved shooting living things more (only with my camera, I swear) because I thought it really captured a moment in time.

Hanging out with my friends probably entailed a photoshoot, whether they wanted it or not. It became a hobby as well as a way to cope with the fact that time was just going by me and there was nothing I could do about it. So I took pictures to remember, and the ones that I liked I posted on the Internet and around my room. At one point, my bed and one of my walls were covered with photos and I actually got paid to take pictures of people. I was obsessed with photography because they were memories that I had the ability to freeze and display.

After a while though, these, too, add up.

Memories are very interesting things and I would so love to just take my memories out, Harry Potter-style, and shove my face into them whenever I want to remember. But, alas, I am a muggle and as I grow older I need to choose the importance of memories. Both what keepsakes I have as well as the ones that are chilling in my head. Over the years, I have begun to learn about the importance of memories.

Don't get me wrong. I thought memories were very important before college, and that is why I shot pictures and kept little things. But memories are not about the quantity. They are more about the quality of each. Sometimes, I got so stuck up on memories that I forgot to be in the now. I had a camera around my neck so I could look back in the future and think about the wonderful times I had.

One day, your computer may crash, or you may lose your box of memories, or your journal, and what then?

Don't be so worried about keeping memories. I am not saying don't take pictures or write down your life. But don't let the idea of making a memory keep you from actually making them.

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