I have a habit of holding on to things. Ticket stubs. Birthday cards. Emotions. Long after their moment of purpose has passed, I keep them close, convinced that one day they may be useful again.
A few months back, I moved. There’s nothing quite like packing up your entire life into boxes. After carefully packing away the essentials—clothes and books—I found myself face to face with accumulated stacks and shoeboxes of memories.
As I took in the landscape, anxiety set in, I started to imagine the future me sorting through this collection. She had a plan and she was going to make this mess of memories into something that made sense.
As I sat there, letting the task morph into a full-blown existential crisis in my mind, one item caught my attention. It’s not surprising, a rainbow and gold unicorn headband is literally made to stand out. This particular headband was something I’d held onto from a cousin’s first birthday party a couple years back.
I’d held onto it thinking it would maybe get some use on Halloween. Then 2020 happened. This sparkly little headband got me out of my head while filming birthday videos. It added some levity to the umpteenth Zoom call. During an incredibly serious year, it reminded me that it was okay and necessary to be a little silly too.
By this point, you may be concerned about the fate of the unicorn headband. I kept it, but I also had a moment of clarity.
The headband had certainly helped add some light to a dark year, but it was just a headband. With that realization, the task at hand became a little less overwhelming. My future self had shown up. She wasn’t perfect, but she had a sweet unicorn headband and a plan (more or less) to go through the mess one item at a time.
Be Kind. Be Brave. Stay Awkward.