The Value Of A Keepsake

The Value Of A Keepsake

What happens when you get to sort through memories?

This week, my parents and sister and I decided to clean out our shed. Oh boy, the treasures we found. Alongside the tons and tons of books left by my grandma and great aunts and great grandparents and who knows who else, we found all sorts of true gems.

For one, we found a newspaper article that announced the moon landing. Needless to say, that's going to be framed. Kaity and I got into our oldest sister, Sarah's, Polly Pockets, which have been tabooed to us for as long as we can remember (something about little siblings ruining everything). That was a good time.

We found all sorts of old dolls and accessories, including a play kitchen that we used to play with at our Grandma Helen's house.

I found old stuffed animals that I used to have trouble sleeping without, each with an ever changing name and completely near and dear to my heart.

I found hundreds of cards from sweet aunts and uncles and grandparents and cousins and old friends.

I found my first journals, started in 2006, and was proud to realize that I've kept up with it for 10 years.

This week, we all discovered the joy of looking at childhood treasures, which allowed us to remember what we didn't mean to forget. We experienced sweet memories of our dear Grandma, who I still miss every day.

My dad was able to tell us stories from his childhood, memories of the Grandpa we never knew, old dogs and teachers and school awards.

My mom relived the early days of her marriage, her engagement to my dad, before there were six little rugrats who demanded her time.

There is a point to this reminiscing. When my dad urged all of us to keep all that stuff which seemed meaningless at the time, we didn't understand the point. It's just junk, just an object. No longer is this true. I found that every object holds a memory, a smell that takes you back, an idea, a revelation.

When you begin to go through all this old stuff, you find that it isn't really just old stuff. It's a representative of a much easier time, before student loans and jobs and wedding planning and understanding that the world is not as easy and beautiful as I thought it was.

Of course, it isn't all filled with memories. Everybody has those random books they never read, or puzzles that are missing more than half of the pieces. Some of it is junk, which is when it becomes borderline hoarding.

I was blessed with a happy childhood, completely oblivious to the frustrations and stress of my parents, as well as the increasingly scary things in this world. This week, I remembered the little girl that had weird quirks, who got a kick out of digging random holes in the yard and hammering nails into scraps of wood. I remembered that it's okay to sit down and remember and even play a little bit, if only to relive a memory.

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18 Things That Happen When You Get A Good Roommate

Not every roommate story is a bad one.

Whenever you hear about roommate stories, they're almost never good, and they usually scare you into never wanting a roommate. "Did you hear her roommate steals her clothes?" "Her roommate doesn't shower!" "Wow, her roommate doesn't talk at all, and doesn't do laundry." From what I hear, there are more bad stories than good. That is why I consider myself lucky, because my roommate is nothing like one of those bad stories. When life hands you a good roommate after talking to about 40 girls through Facebook, a few things happen.

1. You always have someone to talk to.

2. You know each other's schedules, and whenever you both have a break is an exciting time.

3. You'll never have to dance alone.

4. You always have someone to do something with, even if it's just walking down the hall.

5. You both look out for each other, because this is your first time without your parents.

6. You always have a shoulder to lean on when things get tough.

7. Borrowing each other's things is a daily thing.

8. You TRY to help with each other's homework and assignments.

9. They're encouraging when it comes to boys. (Unless they're a f*ckboy.)

10. They're your biggest support system and your personal cheerleader.

11. They never forget to wish you luck on a big exam.

12. They accept how gross you are in the morning and not so pleasant sometimes.

13. You both know each other's favorite and least favorite things.

14. Leaving each other notes saying goodbye before class if you don't see them is normal.

15. Saying goodbye for breaks is upsetting.

16. Not seeing them all day is upsetting.

17. You have more pictures together than any of your other friends.

18. You found a best friend for life.

Cover Image Credit: Jordan Griffin

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Hello, 20, I Can't Wait To See What You Offer Me

The past 19 years were a blessing and I cannot wait to see what 20 has in store for me.


Turning twenty is nothing special. My birthday was just another day, but, when I look back on the past nineteen years of my life, I see how special everything is.

In the past year alone, I have seen the most growth in myself. I found a better sense of who I am and who I want to be. I surrounded myself with better people and stepped away from toxic people. I pushed myself to try new things and trust in God more.

I remember being a little girl, fishing with my dad, playing with Barbies and being read bedtime stories every night.

I remember looking in the mirror as a little girl and picturing myself looking like my mom as a teenager and an adult.

When I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always said I wanted to be a ballerina, play hockey and make wine. Then in high school, I was asked what college I wanted to go to. In college, I am asked what I am majoring in. Now, I am asked what I am going to do after college and my friends and I are talking about retirement plans and weddings.

I have come so far from my dreams as a little girl, but the end goal is still the same: be happy.

When we are little, we hold our parents' hands in the parking lot, we go to them when we have a bad dream and we run to their arms when we have had a bad day. Now, I am nearly completely on my own.

My mom doesn't wake me up in the morning, so if I sleep through my alarm, I am screwed. My parents aren't holding my hands anymore so if I get lost or trip, I have to pick myself up and find my own way. When I have a long day and it just seems like everything is falling apart, I have to get myself together.

We rush to grow up and be on our own.

Then we get bills and we get fired from our job and we run out of clean clothes to wear and the dishes pile up and we realize that growing up isn't all we dreamed it would be. I know that no matter how old I am, I will still call my parents asking for help and I will still sit in my mom's lap. Because I am learning that adults don't know what they are doing, they just aren't afraid to ask questions.

There are a lot of people that start asking me what I will do after school, where I want to live, when I will get married and when I will have kids. I promise myself not to rush further into adulthood. I want to enjoy each day without worrying about tomorrow or the next 10 years. I will appreciate living in a dorm, stressing out over exams and eating copious amounts of ramen because the stressors I will face in the next 10 years will make me miss these moments.

So, when I blow out the candles on my birthday, I wish for happiness, not only for myself but for my friends and family.

I wish for strength because the next few years are not going to be easy. I wish for guidance, because I know I can't do it on my own. I wish for more laughs, more smiles, more puppy kisses and more memories.

I hope that 20 is the best year yet and I can't wait to see how much I change in the next year.

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