Apparently, back in them days way before god had decided to let there be light and stuff, our ancestors had divided certain necessary for survival tasks according to certain gender characteristics… Thus, while most males ended up following the “see mammoth – chase mammoth – kill mammoth (or, in occasional less fortunate cases, get killed by mammoth)” formula, most females, presumably, in between having babies and taking care of them (a labor intensive task, ever more so way back before the diapers) went around gathering foods and items that may have come handy at the cavehold.
If anything, at the very least I have some genetic and evolutionary theories to blame then for the fact that I collect stuff. Unlike most “normal” women, I don’t collect shoes. I mean, I already have 24 pairs as it is, can you imagine how many there would have been if I actually collected them?!!!
Instead, I collect other things. For example, candles. The nice looking, unusually shaped and colored ones. I never burn them.
I collect coins and bills. Not fanatically so – just try to get some samples from places i’ve been to… or people’s pockets :). With their permission, of course. (ehm… usually…)
I collect earrings… i have hundreds of them!!! It’s winding down a bit, since i seem to already have all the most interesting items, but i still can’t walk unmoved past the stores with lovely dangling items on display.
Let’s see, what else… pictures… from my trips. Thousands of them… by the way, the albums from all my trips are available to the public here.
…Fridge magnets. As a form of therapy for those moments when the mood insists on “i hate the world and it hates me right back”, which certainly is something most of us experience every now and then. I see my fridge very often, and the geography represented on it works wonders, explaining very quickly to the brain that, in fact, it has absolutely nothing to complain about and an amazing life on top of that, too.
I collect languages I speak (in theory. In practice, I collect languages I WANT to speak, because the collection of those I DO speak stopped currently at number 4) and dances I dance (from club style stuff like trance to r’n’b to belly dancing to salsa cuban, LA and new york, to tango, to cha cha,bachata, zouk, capoeira, to pole dancing…NOT what you thought!At home and in class, purely for the fun and the fitness of it :))…
I collect countries I have visited. I think am approaching the 40’s now… The plan is to visit every existing country in the world. Ambitious, but possible. Besides, I’m already 1/5 of the way through and not even 50 years old yet :).
But most importantly, I collect experiences. Stories. My own and other people’s stories of life, love, loath and everything around and in between. Experiences of new places, cultures, people, perspectives, and new discoveries inside myself.
The one thing we should all keep in mind is the fact that in the end of life, whether that house was built or not, whether that tree has grown next to it or has never even been planted, the most valuable assets we can always carry on with us and pass on to anyone around are not assets at all. Things grow old, break apart, get destroyed, sold… but even left without a penny in the street, one can still hold immense richness within. It is the knowledge, the experiences, the stories of one’s life that won’t go off at any auction, but are nevertheless the most valuable assets one can gather through life.
So I gather those. Maybe I won’t end up rich (although I sure hope I will – traveling the world would be so much easier then :)), but I already have enough to look back upon and say “daaaayyymn, I’ve lived quite life, met great people, and known a great deal of little bits of everything…” this, my friends, is priceless. For the rest of it, there’s cash and plastic cards and barter :).
I guess the purpose of this entry, written on a hot evening in Perpignan (southwest of France, right at the border with Spain, nearby the sea) is very simple: to remind you, when you face decisions, or troubles, to ask yourselves some extremely important questions.
In case of troubles, ask yourself, if you would have been 90 years old now, would this huge tragedy seem like such an unmanageable deal to you then?.. Would you even remember it? Most probably not… Which means you have all it takes to overcome whatever comes your way, and come out of it all better, wiser, stronger, with more knowledge to share and carry through life.
In case of decisions, especially “to do, or not to do” ones… Would doing/not doing something be something you’d be looking back upon when you are 90 with a huge grin on your wrinkled face? or would you want to tear the remaining hair from your head just thinking abut it? Would you regret forever not having tried something?.. All of a sudden, decisions will seem easier to make, certain risks easier to take, while others easier to discard.
In the end of your life, you have nothing but a book you truly possess; a biography book. You are the sovereign author of it, although life’d throw in its own passages to spice it all up and make it less boring. ultimately though, you are the one setting the tone, selecting the story line, keeping or discarding characters and actions… Ask yourself, if you were to read your own biography, would you be bored out of your wits by page 3? Or shamed into purple shades of crimson? Or would you read that biography, and through all its emotions and passages to the last page enjoy it, its dynamic, its main character’s integrity, stories…
Every day is its own chapter. They will not all be perfect – perfection is an abstract idea that has nothing to do with reality. But you can make the best of even the worst hand of cards (or, as they say, when life hands you lemons – ask for tequila and salt :)), and try to write your chapters to the best of your ability, so that the final product, the complete autobiography, will be something you would enjoy re-reading passages from to yourself and others for the rest of your life, and so that others will be happy to share it with others yet long after that house falls apart with age, that tree dries, and your proper name may be lost to the history of humankind… You can still live on in your stories, if you never forget that you are writing them down right now on the invisible pages of space-time…
On that note, happy story-writing and i am off to dance!