Everyone loves a good purge, right? And I’m talking about stuff, not an eating disorder.
There are a few things that I hang on to longer than I should. Makeup samples. Ill fitting clothes. Spaghetti sauce. Old running shoes (wtf? whyyy?)
But on the whole, I love to throw things away. I love that trash gets picked up every Thursday morning and all of the nonsense and mess gets carried away from my house. I do make a valiant effort to recycle, mind you.
So when I think about purging my closet or my cabinets or drawers, there really isn’t much to get rid of. I’ve never been an extraordinarily sentimental person.
Except with pictures.
I love pictures. Pictures of places I’ve been and amazing things I’ve seen. Pictures that remind me of a feeling. It’s the remembrance pictures grant me that makes them so special.
Because I don’t have a great memory. I live strongly in a moment and then move on from it, and many times the details escape me. I don’t dwell on the past because my general stress and anxiety about life comes from anticipating the future. So, when I have a moment to slow down and reflect, I love a good album of pictures to take me back.
Pictures are my insurance that I won’t ever forget. I revel in all things that track our existence in time. Like Facebook and Instagram for example. Yes, they are great for keeping in touch with loved ones and acquaintances, or share stories and news and media coverage along with unsolicited opinions. But, I’m there for the pictures. A glimpse into the lives of people I know. A place I can always come back to and see it again and again. A place I can store my own memories.
But since we’re talking about spring cleaning, I am so very lucky that all of this image clutter I’m describing is already neatly organized by my iPhone, Mac, and online. Chronicled on timelines and with dates and tags. Technology advanced itself so rapidly in this area, I guess because I’m just one of billions of people whose heart is hung on the strings of remembrance, that I don’t ever need to purge my beloved pictures. They don’t take up any physical space. They don’t create any clutter. They sit neatly in electronic folders, backed up by USB drives and Clouds.
They are safe. And this puts me at ease. That I don’t have to stress about remembering the details. I can just be me. Live in the moment. Hopefully take a picture of it. And come back to remember it anytime I like.