Red Memory Box

“Hey, remember when we joked about her having a military style wedding?”

I almost spat out my drink. Our laughter roared through the restaurant that was only occupied by us and a couple other groups. Each of us then chipped in with our own memories of the past. Our teenage years.

Then my friend said, “Remember that book we had?”

And oh boy do I remember.

It also made me realise I haven’t done my annual little routine.

I have this weird little habit. Every year, at no specific time or date, I’ll feel the urge to go through what I call, my memory box.

This year, it was the words from my friend that triggered the urge.

After our brunch, I went home and searched for it.

What is this memory box?

Well, it is what it is. A box full of memories. Or for some people (my mum), JUNK. At first glance, it would look like it. But alas, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. These scraps of paper and torn up books are all treasures to me. This box is where I put random stuff collected over the years I’ve lived; trinkets, journals and notebooks, old pictures, torn up notes, letters from 7 years ago, sketchbook and a book, a special book. The book my friend mentioned earlier.

Created over 9 years ago, it lies in the deepest of my memory box. This book is why I go through the box every year.

What was so special about this book?

Well, think of your diary from when you were a teenager just going through puberty. Now think of a diary where you shared it with 4 other of your best friends. Yup. The Ultimate Diary.

This ultimate diary will kill you with cringy and embarrassing teen stuff. We were young and full of dreams and we poured our heart and soul into this book. This book was somewhat a written proof of a promise to each other that we’d stick and grow a business together.

I remember telling my mother about this dream of ours and she smirked, clearly amused by our gullibleness. I defended myself and she said,

“I know you love your friends. But you’ll have lives of your own.”

And she was right.

I think the hardest truth any teenager could face is that as you grow up, you’ll see lesser familiar faces. You’ll walk the roads of adulthood independently. You’ll occasionally bump into those familiar faces but ultimately, you’re on your own.

I’m still close with my friends. But I know in a few years we’ll see less of each other. But it doesn’t mean we’re done. We’ll still be best friends forever. Just growing separately, like all relationship should.

There isn’t a time where I don’t laugh my ass off reading this book. Every page is like a memory capsule. As I flip through the pages, it’s almost as if I can hear the conversations that took place.

The life pro tip here is that don’t hesitate to take pictures or to keep notes from your friends or to make a journal entry and adding the smallest detail. Instead of taking good pictures, I took candid pictures of my friends. I kept most of my notebooks because sometimes my friends would scribble something on it and it’s those small moments that I would end up appreciating. After a big trip with family or friends, I always write down in my journal about the events, describing every detail I remember. It’s things like this that made me remember the past so vividly.

As Gretchen Rubin says in her book The Happiness Project, be a treasure house of happy memories.

Do you have your own memory box?


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