A lot of the stuff in my house looks like junk. Like the random rock on my mantel, or the 16-year-old orange Starburst in my freezer (it’s survived two fridge upgrades!), the $2 Last Supper portrait in my bathroom, or the tiny stuffed hippo on top of my bedroom dresser. There’s my Christmas tree topper that I cut from a flimsy baking tin that everyone always tells me I should throw away, and the tiny bottle of teeth in my curio.
But there’s a story behind everything. And that’s why I keep things that Henry would prefer I threw out, put back outside, burned, or buried.
There’s one random thing that looks almost too normal and basic to be in here, a bluebird tea light that guides the way to the bathroom when I have parties. The kind of object that no one would be able to imagine me walking into a store and purchasing with my own cash money. When I was putting a candle in it on Saturday, I started to laugh to myself because it’s a tangible souvenir from the time I was invited to a Mormon women’s dinner at their church in Greentree, back when I was taking a creative non-fiction writing class at Pitt and had to choose a stranger to interview for an assignment.
I picked the Mormon missionary who had swung by my house once on a solicitation basis, in her long, stiff wool skirt.
This one dumb ceramic bird is a symbol of extreme emotional discomfort, pushing myself out of my comfort zone* in order to write something completely different for me, back when I used to actually care about my writing and didn’t just blog from the WordPress app on my phone, crossing my fingers that the typos would be minimal, but also not giving enough shits to go back and proofread. My Pitt writing professors would be so fucking proud to see me now. #washedup
*(Back then, anything that involved me leaving the house was me “pushing myself out of my comfort zone.”)
Every once in a while, I catch of glimpse of this damn bird, and I feel really proud that I opened myself up to that strange experience, that instead of hiding from someone going door-to-door in a Jesus skirt, I sought her out and tried to understand why she does missionary work, and my reward for that was this blue bird…and an A on my paper. Duh. It also makes me think of how much has changed since then, when I was going to college to become someone that everyone said I should be, not who I wanted to be.
One stupid little candle holder, but so much sentimental value! DEEP THOUGHTS FOR A MONDAY.