• finish this 📅 2023-04-24

For as long as i can remember, I’ve been a maximizer: optimizing test scores, shaving seconds off time estimates, seeing every green point added to the abilities of video game avatars. If you eat with me, expect me to ask for a bite. If i could have it my way, I would try one bite of every single thing on the menu for my meal. My desire seems boundless, my appetite undiscerning and voracious, I want to sample all of the world and more. 

The past few years a lot of that has changed. I prefer to take things slow, an empty schedule where things emerge rather than a precise itinerary packed with everything imaginable. 

who is my voice? and to whom does she call? I find that my writing takes on several diffrent persona. My journaling voice feels like a juvenile field reporter, logging events and details meticulously, aiming for accuracy above all. My poet voice seeks lyrical music, searches for words that roll of the tongue like melodies, finding ways that obscurely express some percentage of the beauty that their eyes are exposed to. Sometimes they weave together like twins fighting over parental attention. Straightforward bullets recording the days events might veer off into a paragraph grasping at the ability to capture love or a sunset or the smile o a friend’s face after a hard day of riding.

Is collecting things still popular today? Growing up, I remember thinking so hard to find a category that I might like to collect because I thought that was a prerequisite to teenhood. My brother collected keychains growing up, so it made it easy for my parents to bring back little trinkets from their travels. I tested several in my mind, but couldn’t seem to find anything that I really enjoyed. I think I ended up with T-shirts because it was something that was practical and easy to find. I used to have a favorite black T with Istanbul scribbled across in a turquoise cursive script in the shape of one of the city’s bridges. Several years later, none of them fit, and I don’t think I particularly enjoyed wearing any of them.

I know several friends who collect rocks. S collects tiny things. R and their friend exchange cat-related things. A is satisfied with anything as long as its green. T doesn’t mind tea as long as it isn’t ginseng. I think I could never find a physical object collection that appealed to me because I don’t want to collect physical goods. I feel uncomfortable with owning too many possessions, having them follow me with their forlorn eyes. I dread throwing away old things because it means trashing the memories they hold.

Instead, I collect memories. Not big trips, flashy nights out, the big and bright events. I look for the small moments that reflect the atmosphere. I collect the sensations that make those moments: a cough drop wrapper on the windowsill, the sea rushing in the nostrils with the wind’s song, the silence of silence, the kind that wraps everything it touches, numbing sensation and desire. Smartphones have made it easy to collect these: the sight and even the sound of the moment. I have 34,478 photos in my camera roll. By the time this post is published, I might have hundreds more. I take photos whenever something captures my attention. I record the sounds of the mountain, the cicadas competing with the quiet spring breeze. I capture the half-filled margarita tumbler on the floor of the hotel hallway, the reflection of temple lanterns in the side mirror of the scooters parked out front, the shadows cast by lovers and strangers intertwining in an alternate embrace.