Its never easy saying goodbye, all those memories shared, the emotions evoked- letting go is one tough bitch to handle. But i’m not talking about the loss of a loved one but the loss of memories, memories I had carried around with me for 22 years and have given up in the name of sacrifice. Coming to London and renting the teeny tiniest box room you could imagine meant that I had to say goodbye to memories I had treasured and loved; from photos, clothes to books no memory was safe from London’s need to purge. Gone were the documents from my school days, attesting to my hard work and dedication to education, to the charity shop went droves of clothes from Ana’s past and au revoir to precious letters written to me from friends past and present. I found it hard to let go but nothing could have prepared me for saying goodbye to my beloved books. Books that had given me solace from a traumatic childhood, books that had allowed me to escape into an alternate universe away from bullies and cruel words and books that had taught me to write, to imagine and to believe. From fantasy to crime I had 2,000 books across all genres that fit into a piece of my past and present. There was the YA fantasy from when I was 14, vampires, werewolves and witches circled around me, using their supernatural powers to protect me from my reality. There was Dan Brown and his Angels and Demons allowing me to improve my sense of logistics and enter the mind of a cold blooded killer. There were the classics, written by writers long dead, who never ceased to amaze me with their progressive narratives. But most of all there was history in each book, a testament to the years I had spent on earth. All of them gone, forever from my memory.
From the age of 6 I was noted as an extraordinary reader and writer, writing stories and poems to escape my abuse at the hands of my stepmum. As I stumbled across old pieces of paper one line particularly stood out to me written by six year old self ‘ There comes a time in life where you wish you were never born; maybe the abuse would stop and you would live six feet under. But then I think to myself what if I was put on earth for a reason? To create a legacy that would last after death’. It was poignantly written and it made me think how much wisdom I had at such a young age, to know that feeling sad or being mistreated shouldn’t make you want to say goodbye but sometimes sacrifice is needed to forge a new path in life. Essentially by sacrificing my childhood and transgressing into adulthood at such a young age it makes my twenties as a self-sufficient, independent woman a moral lesson to my six year old self. In other words if I could sacrifice at an age where most kids are spoilt rotten then there is nothing that my twenty two year old self can’t handle. Those books, those memories might be painful to lose but one day I will be thankful that I sacrificed something special to me to create a brighter future. I knew what I was getting myself into when I rented the box room, knew that things I took for granted would have to be permanently erased. But I went ahead anyway because as long as I have a roof over my head and am not living on the streets I should be grateful that I am saying goodbye to memories and not to life.
To some my emotional connection to books seems a little eclectic; in a world where technological advancement has created a generation dependent on ‘digital media’ and ‘technologies’ I stick out like a sore thumb. I shun kindles for the real thing and read books on the beach, when I travel, when I work. Books are the fruit of life, knowledge givers and without them we would be lost in translation. We are literates feasting on the tree of life finding knowledge in the most unlikely of places. Without knowledge it would be difficult to communicate, without knowledge we would be floundering in the murky waters of ‘rejection’ and without knowledge there would be no technology, the medium we rely so heavily on to function as human beings. I said goodbye to books who have been my nearest and dearest because I realized I needed to choose a new path, where books are in the background but still there when I need them. 2,000 books became 200 and I wept salty tears, aware that I shouldn’t get so worked up over words. But I couldn’t help it, I needed to bless the books I had said goodbye to and tell them that it was okay, I was giving them permission to leave but I would never forget them. They were happy to comply and with one deep breath they were gone… forever.
Have You Found It Hard To Say Goodbye To Memories?