The Struggle Of Being Sentimental

I’ve never had a good memory and I’ve never had a huge attachment to places. But if I have a token of a place or a photo of a time, then I’m able to remember the event more clearly. I collect things from important people and places I go and I’ve become very sentimental.

I have boxes of things I’ve acquired over the years. Diaries, cards, ticket stubs, birthday presents that came from people who I left in the past, a lot of bad poetry from high school. I have a hard time throwing those things away because they are probably the only things that will trigger those memories for me.

I went through some of the boxes recently and could only throw away a few things. Diaries that mostly only spoke about how my family were jerks and how I was fat, photos of people who left me with bad feelings, and trinkets that I couldn’t find an attachment to.

But there’s so much left and the problem with being sentimental isn’t that I’m going to become a hoarder one day. The problem is that these things make me miss people who have hurt me, who I don’t even like anymore. They make me miss times that I was actually miserable during. But by being so sentimental, it’s easy to forget the bad. Even when they are things that should be long gone.

It’s hard to be so sentimental, I feel oddly attached to dumb things and then feel like reaching out to people who stopped caring about me altogether. It’s a dangerous road and I’ve found it best to just keep those boxes closed.

19 thoughts on “The Struggle Of Being Sentimental

  1. It sounds like we are very similar. I keep everything that people give me – from tickets to concerts to tiny stuffed animals to poetry. And it takes up a lot of space sometimes!! I also tend to remember the good times more than the bad times which means shutting someone completely out of my life is hard for me. But sometimes it is the best thing to do for your own mental health. I would recommend putting the items from said-people in a box in your attic, out of sight out of mind, and hopefully this will help to reduce the emotional impact you feel with these items. xx

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  2. I am highly sentimental and nostalgic. I still have a display of things from childhood so its all good. Of course I couldn’t keep everything but I have some curated things that mean a lot to me. You do you my friend.

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  3. I have many of the same feelings, and it touched a nerve with me when you mentioned missing people who have hurt you. I’ve been going through lots of my old “photographs and memories” as well during this time of near quarantine, and coming across those old images of a friendship that I thought was dear, made me wistful. I know rationally that what I’m feeling is the illusion and not the reality, but it still makes me pensive. I’ll keep the photographs because they are part of my personal history, but I’ll still think of the fantasy and not the way it really ended up.

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  4. I recognize so much of what you write. That need to hoard those things I can attach meaning to and the following unwillingness to discard.

    But I struggle even more because I love being organized more than I do sentimental. So even with the pain involved I do throw out most of these things in bouts of determination. Horrible combination!

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  5. My mother complains that I don’t have a sentimental bone in my body. And I know it’s because my first instinct, when cleaning out a basement or storage unit, is to simply throw things away without taking time to go through things. It’s only because, for my logic, if I don’t know it’s there, I won’t miss it when it’s gone. So if it’s something that’s been sitting in a storage container for x number of years, I clearly don’t know about it anymore and really wouldn’t shed a tear if it’s gone… because I won’t really know it’s something I got rid of. Truth is, if I do take the time to look through old boxes, I will get sentimental about things and the temptation will sneak in to hold onto all of it. Which then just gives me more reason not to look through it, especially if my purpose for clearing out the basement or storage unit is to empty the thing out.

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