“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.”
—Guillaume Apollinaire

I like to collect objects of meaning. Sometimes, they pile up and I forget why I even own them in the first place. Having to pack and move here three years ago to pursue higher education had finally got me to understand that yes—it was indeed an actual problem I faced. During that time, throwing away objects and having to choose which memories and ideas to keep and dispose of was probably the most time-consuming part of my packing process.

Now—amongst the variety of objects I own, from keychains to cards to post-it notes, I’ve noticed a pattern: everything isn’t as pretty looking as I had thought five, six, or even eight years ago. But that isn’t troubling. I collect and keep objects for what they embody. For instance, I have a chocolate chip scented candle sitting on my desk right at this moment. It’s overused and abused. And its charred edges and rim don’t add much value to it’s deteriorating aesthetic. But I love it. For me, that candle is a gift (like most of the items I own) that symbolizes more than my love for baking. And I sometimes wonder if people who’ve seen my ugly-looking candle question its appearance without questioning its story. I wonder if we, as individuals search for reasons as much as we create judgements. And metaphorically, my chocolate chip cookie candle could symbolize the next stranger we meet—as a person whose very existence tells a story we could never truly understand.

It makes me wonder: most people, situations, objects—things—inevitably have reasons, but do we take enough time to try and figure some of them out? Or are we stuck in our bubbles, waiting for people to figure it out first?


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