I collect pictures and organize them meticulously so that later on, I can go back and look at them. Make up stories of what’s going on, wonder about the subject’s life, try to figure out how old they would be now, how they would look from a different angle with different lighting.
I collect pictures of places I want to go and make up memories for myself. In my head I relate to others my most recent trip to Portafino, Italy, where the houses are all shades of the rainbow and everyone is transported by boat. I tell them about the time I went to Greece and tanned out on the white sand, stayed in a
white house with a blue roof just like everyone sees in the pictures. I’ll speak to them fluently in french, which I will have just recently picked up while sitting at a little cafe in Paris eating my baguette and looking at the Eiffel Tower. And when I walk away, people always speak of how traveled and wonderful I am, how I’ve gotten just the right amount of sun and how they wished they could hop on a plane and go anywhere they please.
Truth is, I collect photos of people I wish I was, places I want to go, things I want to do, and ideas I wish I had because I feel like if I don’t I won’t have any motivation to do anything on my own. For one who works so hard to be original, I’ve really not. I’ve based my life off of someone else’s interpretation of the world. But I have yet to find my own.
And everyone always tells me that I still have a chance to figure it out, that I’m still young, that I’ve got a long ways to go, but it really sucks going through life not knowing who you are. Just blindly being what everyone else thinks you are. But truth is, I am the way I am because I’ve never known anything different. I collect books because I hope to be a great author like Wilde, Shakespeare, Hawthorne, Bronte, Dickens (both of them) and yet I rarely find myself writing anything that will ever come of repute.
I’m lost. I need a map. Now there’s one thing I don’t collect. I don’t collect maps because I’m quite sure I’ve figured out how to get through life. If I hadn’t done that by now we would have a problem. I collect teddy bears, though. To remind myself that you are never too old to be a little kid again. I aim to hold onto my inner child long past the time I have my own child (another thing I won’t be collecting).
I need to stop collecting others people’s memories and start collecting my own. I need to stop living the life other people have imagined for me and come up with my own goal. What if I’m not destined to be an actress or a teacher? What if really, my calling is to be a librarian at some random library for the rest of my life? That wouldn’t be too terrible, but since I’ve come up with the idea of being a teacher all my own I think I’ll stick to it.
My point being I collect a lot. And I’m not sure that’s a good thing. Because alongside my memories and others people’s pictures I’ve accumulated a lot of self-doubt and loathing…which collects whether I like it or not.
Ah. My inner demons. Now we’ve found something to talk about.
I don’t like myself a lot of the time. I mean, no girl ever looks in the mirror and tells herself she’s gorgeous the moment she rolls out of bed. For me that feeling lasts all day. I feel ugly, I feel fat, I feel uncomfortable in my own skin. I doubt my talents and doubt whether or not I have friends. I also doubt whether anyone cares, even though I should know without a shadow of a doubt that a lot of people care, otherwise the decency I have been shown throughout the years would be really hard to explain.
But still. I collect inner demons.
I guess you could say I just collect things. Trinkets. Things don’t mean much.
But then again, that’d be a lie.