The Memory Jar

The Memory Jar

Keep the big experiences close and the smaller ones closer
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Ever since I was a little girl, I have obtained many amazing memories from both my friends and my loved ones. Some of these memories were positive, giving me the courage to pursue my dreams and become the woman I am today........and others....not so positive. Although it may seems that one bad memory can destroy even the slightest bit of happiness, those negative memories are there to teach us. They are there to teach us that there is always time to be who we are and to achieve greatness. Throughout my college experience, I have realized that savoring the good experiences in life are what really help me get through even the toughest of days. Recently, I have found myself doing something that I have not done for a very long time...............looking through my memory jar.

For my high school graduation party, I wanted to do something fun and unique to remember all of the great times that I have had with all of my friends and family. I discovered the idea of a memory jar one day while I was scrolling through my Pinterest page. When I first read about the idea, I knew that that was what I wanted at my party. From then on, I worked hard to construct the memory jar and make sure that I had an adequate amount of paper for all of my guests to write at least one thing. The rules of the memory jar were simple: to write your favorite memory with me and put it in the jar so that I could remember all of the good times that I have had with my friends and family so far. This idea turned into a major success. After my graduation party, I ended up with over 50 different memories to read while I was at college.

Being that my college classes are decently stressful (and anxiety is a real thing), I have found myself looking at my jar of memories quite often. Being able to read about all of the good experiences that I have had with everyone brings me so much joy, especially during times of deep anxiety. There are memories that make me laugh, cry tears of joy, and everything in between. There was one particular memory though that really seemed to peak my interest. It was a small memory, but nonetheless, it was significant. It was a memory written by my Dad, however, it wasn't a memory written by him......it was written by me. The "memory" that my Dad had placed in the jar was an old Valentine's Day card that I had hand-made for my Dad when I was in kindergarten. Half of it was even written in Spanish because I had just learned how to say "I love you" in my class. As I carefully glanced at the little Valentine's Day card, I couldn't help but get an overwhelming feeling of happiness. I started to tear up, just as I had done when I left for college.......I then started to cry. It was at this moment that I realized just how great of a life I really have and how blessed I am to be able to have the opportunities that I have today.

As you can see, it's the little things in life, those small memories, that can have the greatest impact on your life. You need to live out your life to the fullest and not be worried about what the future may bring. Without those good times, those good memories, in your life to fall back on and remember, you will find yourself lost and in a dark place. I thoroughly recommend starting a memory jar. It has helped me understand the significance of true friendship and how the little things in life can play a great role in who you will become.

"Take care of your memories. For you cannot relive them"
-Bob Dylan

Cover Image Credit: Rachel Rinehimer

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Goodbye School, Hello Real World

I'm ready for ya!

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It's starting to hit me.

I've been in school, year after year, since kindergarten. Maybe even pre-school!

Now, I'm about to graduate with my bachelors in communication and I couldn't be more proud of myself. I'll say it. I often sugarcoat it or suppress it but d*mn it. I'm going to applaud myself. It was hard work. It took a lot of motivation, determination, (caffeine), and willpower to get to where I am today. I worked my ass off.

That being said, I can't help but think... What is life without due dates? What is life like without scrambling to turn in an assignment that's due at 11:59 PM? What is life like with actual sleep? Sleep? I don't know her.

Like I keep telling my boyfriend and my parents, I don't have it all figured out. At least not right now. But I will, and I'm in no rush to land my dream job right now. If anything, I want to take a year to myself. I want to travel. I want to sleep in if I d*mn well please! I want to read as many books as I want. I want to write till my fingers fall off (OK, maybe not that).

You get the jist.

I'm free. I can do and be whatever I want. And you know what? That's terrifying.

I'm lost. I've followed this structure for so long. Now what?

I don't have all the answers yet. But for now, at least right at this very moment, I'm so thankful to have been able to receive such an amazing education. And to be able to say I'm graduating with my bachelors in communication at 21 is an accomplishment in itself.

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