Disclaimer: What you are about to read may shock you.  If you suffer from depression, anxiety, or are known to be impressionable, please consult a physician before proceeding.  Reader discretion is advised.  Thank you.

One thing that's always puzzled me about myself, while I was growing up, was that I would find myself putting things into boxes.  These would be things that I really liked.  Due to this, I have boxes of non-mechanical pencils, various writing instruments, and candy dating as far back as elementary school.  While this squirrel-like behavior could be explained by me wishing to save something for later consumption, I wasn't actually intending on consuming them later.  I recognized early on, that I was putting things into boxes, meticulously collected and arranged, to never open those boxes again.  It started with pencils and candy.  It spread to Legos later in elementary school, CDs and DVDs of videos, games, computer programs, songs, and anime in middle school and high school, textbooks and laptops in college, and bills and various work documents after I started working.  While a collector's mentality is one that many can sympathize with, where I went OCD and made sure all my bills were in order and present every month, as I did today, what is puzzling is my intention to never open those boxes again.  In effect, I was doing a bunch of work for no purpose.

As I laid in bed tonight, I thought about all the relationships I have currently, some going as far back as middle school, and some as recent as a year or two ago.  As the relationships drifted in and out, there was one relationship in particular, that I wished to not see the person ever again.  We were not on bad terms; on the contrary, we were on very good terms.  Thus, again, I could not understand why I would feel the urge to escape, to abandon a relationship that was going so well.  Typically, I would not give these crazy thoughts any attention, but since I was lying in bed trying to sleep, I thought it would be a good opportunity to actually try to figure this thing out.  If there's no good reason for doing this, then why do I do this?

An image flashed in my mind, from an anime I watched earlier this year.  

Suddenly, everything became clear.  The more I thought about it, the more sense it made.  Perhaps what I felt was going on in that relationship, was that we had reached the peak of that relationship.  To continue the relationship, it would still be positive, but it would be downhill from there.  Thus, to escape and to never meet that person again, I was trying to freeze that relationship in time.  By putting it in a box as it is, and never opening it, to my knowledge, that relationship would always be in its best state, even though the reality of it is that it would eventually decay like the candy that I stored for 20 years.  

Similar to what I've been doing my whole life, I was trying to preserve something I really liked, as best I could.  While some things do indeed preserve well in a box, like my pencils, textbooks, and CDs/DVDs, other things are ephemeral, such as candy and relationships.  By putting them in a box, I am merely preserving my memory of them, and not them, in actuality.  I remember them being great, even though if I were to open the boxes up and visit them, or taste one of those candies, the reality would be very disappointing.  It may simply be impossible to preserve something that, by nature, fades.  However, maybe since my intention was not to ever open the boxes again, my intention all along was more to preserve the memory of the contents in those boxes than the actual contents themselves.  Pretty deep, if I was thinking this way as an elementary schooler.  I might be impressed with my elementary school self, since he stumped me for so long with his enigmatic behavior.

Is this an epiphany of self-discovery, or is this the delusional ramblings of someone in need of sleep?  Are these priceless thoughts that I'm glad I got up to write down, or are these worthless thoughts that I'll regret publishing for the world to see, and definitely not worth the price in sleep loss?  I guess we'll find out when I read this again during the day.

Written on October 8, 2017
Updated on April 21, 2020. © Copyright 2022 David Chang. All Rights Reserved. Log in | Visitors