Have you ever owned an inexpensive item of negligible monetary value that you absolutely love? And you recognise you love it purely because of its sentimental value?
I’m one of the least materialistic people I know. I’d rather spend the little income I make on experiences, travel, time with friends and family, not on things. So I never spend a huge amount of money on clothes or accessories.
I often though associate my modest belongings with precious memories or people and when I lose or break one of these precious to me pieces I grieve. I, of course, understand that it’s just ‘a thing’ and losing it shouldn’t matter, but it does. Because, for me, this ‘thing’ is a memory nugget, reminding me of a special friend, a loved one, an awesome day, a significant period of my life, and I’m terrified I’d forget whatever I associate it with, if I lose one of these memory nuggets.
I’ve lost or broken a few of these memory nuggets over the years, a set of earrings my sister got me, a memory card with photos from the UK and my most recent travels to Sicily, Rhodes and Belgium, a bracelet a dear friend got me, a pair of shoes I wore absolutely everywhere, and most recently, my blue denim jacket.
‘Come on, it’s just a jacket, get another one, the same even’ one might say. But it will never be the same.
I’ve got this jacket in June, 2019. I remember that because it was one of the last purchases I made before I left the UK. And as with the majority of my decisions, I browsed for hours, painstakingly looking for the perfect jacket. Why do I find it so excruciatingly difficult, even choosing a denim jacket? But, when I came across it on the Mango website, I knew that was THE one, at least what I had in mind.
I wore it the last time I’ve hugged goodbye my UK friends in Southampton in July.
I wore it a month later, during my CELTA course, one of the most challenging, painful but rewarding months of my entire life. I wore it during our lessons, I wore it when Jonny hugged me after I told him with tears in my eyes that my grandpa had died the day before and I wore it when I hugged my classmates goodbye.
I wore it on my way back to Cyprus after 11 weird and wonderful years in the UK and on my way to Italy a few months later.
I wore it during my first year teaching at Reggio, an experience I’ll never forget and on my way back to Cyprus after going through the first wave of the global pandemic outbreak in Italy, one of the worst-hit countries.
So today I grieve the loss of my blue denim jacket and with it the friends and places I miss.