Hoarding is a term usually associated with negative connotations. Single middle-aged people in terraced houses or studio flats crammed packed with newspapers, dolls, or stamps spring to mind. A cloying, stale air of compacted time shrouds their homes whilst a sense of desperation lingers like sweat on a 13-year-old boy, permeating the walls, the furniture and inherently disfiguring the hoarder until they mutate into said single-middle-aged-person.
Since last nights hilariously catastrophic yet inevitably mundane experience, I have realised that I am a said hoarder. I have yet to display the physical signs, but the scent is appearing. It emanates from me in little whiffs that only my acute hoarder-alert nose can smell. However my hoarding is not related to the material. It is a psycho-emotional form of hoarding. The desire to savour memories.
After tragically loosing my phone, I started thinking about all the texts I had yet to respond to – because i’m so popular (or because I rarely have credit). A dull melancholic mood began to settle over my features and a sombre atmosphere encompassed me.
I’m a wordy person. Words have a huge impact on me, therefore whenever people said the old ‘sticks and stones,’ I always felt slightly alienated. Words could hurt me. Yet they could also build me up, inspire and motivate me. As a hoarder I obviously saved these texts. Some were from three years ago when I lost a competition, others during exam periods, interview periods, the summer, birthdays, words of encouragement, congratulations, prayers, hopes, dreams. They were things I held onto to remind me of a truth, a moment in time eviscerated forever in white font on a black screen. I might even be so bold as to say some of these words gave me an identity, a sense of self – who I was to other people. My external definition of being. And now they are gone. Vanished after taking a splash in unsanitary water.
However, they say New Year new you. Considering 2012 is meant to be the beginning of the end, then maybe my hoarding-heart can take heart in the notion that it has a chance for rebirth. A chance to avoid its inevitable fate of becoming single in it’s mid-40’s surrounded by used Metro papers and Teletubbies. It also gives me a chance at rebirth. To redefine to myself the defined and perhaps question the idea that those we love most, the memories we cherish most, are not encompassed in pixellated images, but within the mental and emotional ether that is us, our being, me.
It also alludes to the faint hope that maybe one day I shall lose my deep attachment to the external identity of ‘me,’ and happily acknowledge the fact that ‘words will never hurt me,’ because I am more than a word.