During my first day in college, I wandered around the UP Shopping Center and found a nice bead bracelet which I bought to mark that new chapter in my life.
A couple of years later, I did not fancy the bracelet anymore so I stopped wearing it but kept it in my dorm room desk drawer for its sentimental value.
Interestingly, a dorm mate saw the bracelet one day and asked about it. I told him the story and the reason why I was hanging on to it.
What he told me next would eventually became one of the most memorable advice I would ever receive in life.
“Have you ever thought that it’s time to let this bracelet go and give it back to the world? The sentimental value it has will forever be in your memory and regardless if you have this bracelet or not, that memory will forever be yours.”
I didn’t know how to respond. I was just silent, trying to understand his point.
“You know what,” he continued. “Maybe you should just give this bracelet away or maybe sell it. By keeping this, it’s like you’re holding on to your past and do not want to move on. Let it go and make more room for new stuff, new experiences and new memories.”
I can’t believe I was getting all that “new age philosophy” advice from someone I don’t even consider a close friend – he was just a fellow dormer who occasionally hangs out inside my room because my roommate is his high school batchmate.
However, what he said did affect me and I slowly realized his point. Not really knowing how to properly respond to what he just said, I bravely asked, “So, would you like to have the bracelet?”
He laughed so hard and said, “No, not really, but I did appreciate the offer. Sorry, I must have messed up your mind with what I just said.”
Partly relieved but also refreshed with a new mindset, I answered, “Yeah you messed up my mind alright. But what you said did made sense and for that, I thank you.”
Let it go and make more room for new stuff, new experiences, and new memories.
Looking back, I can’t remember anymore what actually happened to that bracelet.
My last vivid memory of it was tucking it away in a box during the end of that semester, and putting that box inside my dorm room cabinet while I go home for summer vacation.
But that conversation, every minute of it is stuck in my head despite all these years – ready to replay whenever I feel like it.
It’s really funny how we put sentimental value on a lot of things and refuse to let them go because of it.
While I believe there’s nothing wrong with keeping a few of those things that are precious to us, I also know that letting them go and giving them away does not diminish their value in our life.
Let me end by sharing with you this very insightful TED Talk by writer and designer Graham Hill. Entitled, “Less Stuff, More Happiness”, Graham tries to make a case that having less stuff, in less room, could actually lead to more happiness.
Watch and hopefully it can likewise inspire you to think differently about the things we buy and the sentimental value we put on things that just clutter our lives.
Photo credit: Horse Wing
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