Memory Box

The other day I opened a box full of memories.

I’ve been having a big clearout recently, inspired by Marie Kondo’s ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying‘. Even though I’ve moved a lot in my life (twenty-four times at last count), clutter still tends to accumulate, especially when you have children.

So into cupboards I went, discarding clothing and dishes with abandon. Then I found this box. I should mention that I love trinket boxes and have quite a collection of them – this was one of the more unusual additions. I was about to put it back in the cupboard, when I decided to open it and look inside.


And I found treasure.

A photo of me with a friend from Grade Nine. My University Library Card. A note from my brother, over twenty years old. A birthday badge saying ‘I am 24.’ A flower which I think is from my parent’s wedding cake. A necklace I remember playing with as a child, several stones missing. A small velvet bag, full of buttons. A book of matches from the CN Tower, ‘Top of Toronto.’


All things that, at one time, were part of me.

As mentioned, I’ve moved a lot, with several of those moves being across oceans. And each time I moved, I had to discard bits of myself. Make adjustments. For many years I tried to ‘fit in,’ wanting a sense of belonging that always, despite dear friends and family, seemed just beyond reach. For a while I almost lost myself completely, but I found the road back to discover, like my old friend Dorothy, that home was inside me all along, and all the things I’d experienced were what made me who I am.

So finding this box at the turning of the year felt particularly poignant. It’s a time when I look both to the past and the future, gathering all that I am and all that I have been to carry into the new year. And this box, with its small collection of trinkets, reminded me that, even though I’ve moved through time and space, I don’t always have to look far to find myself.

Sometimes, all I need to do is open a box.




43 thoughts on “Memory Box

  1. Pingback: How to Beat the January Blues | Suzie Speaks

  2. What a lovely story. I also moved a lot as a young child, though things got more settled when I was 12, so I know how lost and rootless this can make you feel. Just hearing about your treasure box makes me smile.

  3. Ah, what a beautiful memory box. We should all have something of the sort, I have my own but actually keep forgetting to open it when I’m at home.
    I’m impressed at the amount of times you’ve moved. I think I would like to live in as many places as you have, no matter how unstable a lifestyle it may seem. Do you wish you’d moved less?

    • Thank you – it was a lovely thing to find and I can’t remember what made me put all these things into one box. As for moving, it has both good and bad points – I hate hate hate the physical process, but quite enjoy the challenge of exploring new neighbourhoods. However, the overseas moves are always more difficult, because of family and friends left behind (as I’m sure you know). I suppose I have no regrets, as there is no point – all these moves are part of who I am 🙂

  4. This post speaks to me in ways I can’t explain. I’ve lived in 20 houses at last count, and like you, everytime I leave somewhere it’s always felt like I’ve had to throw a little bit more away of myself. But how true that I have tried to fit in everywhere and still felt like I belonged nowhere. I like this reminder that home is in the heart, maybe I need to search for my heart instead!

    • Thanks, Sacha – I’m so pleased this resonated with you. I must say now that I’m back in the UK I feel much more settled, but I think that also has a lot to do with my personal journey. I hope you’re finding your way too 🙂

  5. Reblogged this on Suzie Speaks and commented:
    My tired ‘Top Blogger to Follow in 2016’ is the lovely Helen from Journey to Ambeth. I had the pleasure of meeting her at last year’s Annual Bloggers Bash, and she’s as lovely in person as she is in the online world! Enjoy!

    • Thanks Hugh 🙂 It was a lovely thing to find. As I’ve got rid of so much over the years, it’s the little things like these which become ever more precious. Hope there’s some treasure on your rainbow too…

  6. Pingback: Memory Box | Love, Laughter, and Life

  7. Pingback: Removing The Layers | Journey To Ambeth

  8. Pingback: Wishing Everyone A Happy New Year! | Journey To Ambeth

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