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December 2, 2012

I am a pack rat – okay, borderline hoarder – of all the tokens of good energy that I am given or come across in this life. I keep cards, notes from school, letters that I have sent out, articles of past sports glory, knick-knacks from places visited. And text messages.

The memory on my phone is continually maxed out; “I want to respond to your text? Gimme a second. I have to go back and sift through my 315 old ones to delete something so I can get back to you.” Yes, I do know exactly how many texts my phone holds (315, + a few additional if they’re incoming). And when you’re a pack rat like me, that’s a frustratingly low threshold. But I deal with it.

Why? Because my friends and family are so hilarious and so loving and kind and supportive and gracious. And I want to remember that. Always. Your texts are proof to me on stormy days that I am well-loved and well-liked, and that I live my life with a sense of humor. My bank of text messages is a shrine, an homage to you.

There comes a time when I just can’t stand any longer to whittle down my text vault; so I start transcribing. I write and laugh and write and remember, text by text. It is my history, as told by the people dearest to me. Until my memory fails me, I can recall vividly my responses to each message: the conversation, my feelings at the time. It is my history but it is also your history. It is journaling as a collective. My people. My network. My roots.

So, in the lead-in to my twenty-fifth birthday, I have been writing much. The task is introspective but gregarious: I stop to lean back and laugh at ceiling often. For me, I guess holding onto these small reminders is a way of keeping you near me, in my life, until I see you again – if I ever do. It sustains me. And I am grateful.

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