I am one of those people who always has 3625714 internet tabs open at once.
Tabs from two weeks ago. Four weeks ago. Six weeks ago. Articles I don’t remember clicking and will likely never read. Google searches for things like “fun facts about armadillos” and “why is the sky blue.”
I collect seashells and stones. Pennies, in case they prove to be lucky.
I bought myself a bouquet of pink roses on my 24th birthday. The buds now sit in a small mug on my dresser, their blushing petals crisped to copper around the edges. My birthday was more than six months ago.
I have volumes of voicemails saved on my phone: from my parents, my sister, my friends. One from my grandmother. One from an ex whose face I haven’t seen in years.
I like to hold onto things. That’s why I write. That’s why I photograph. Perhaps it’s a learned fixation, instilled by my longtime journal-keeping habit, but it feels more like an inborn compulsion.
Collecting is a way of bracing against impending loss. Documenting is a method for fossilizing significant moments in the ever-changing story of my life.