I came up with the idea to write this piece while I was laying in bed next to my sleeping boyfriend at the hotel we were staying at. He had come up to visit me at college and whisked me away for a weekend full of renaissance fairs and fun. While I was beginning to fall asleep, I just thought of all the little things, good and bad, that had happened this weekend.
For example, at the renaissance faire, I had the brilliant idea to have us make wax hands of our hands so that when you put them together, they formed the shape of a heart. It was like my weird twist on best friend necklaces. However, after the whole hot wax process, you're supposed to then dip the wax covered hand in cold water so that it can come off without breaking the shape. When my boyfriend and I did this, we unintentionally ended up shifting our hands in response to the cold water, which then ruined any chance we had of making them look like a heart when you put them together. Not going to lie, I was a little disappointed, but the vendor gave us our money back because they felt bad and we then proceeded to joke about it. I now currently have his hand on my desk here at school and my hand will probably go next to his collection of things that he has of our relationship.
I found out about his collection of things when I was staying with him and his parents for spring break last semester. I had come down with the flu and could not go home because my dad had just gone through radiation for cancer and I could not risk him getting sick. I also could not stay on campus because everything shut down for the week and I could potentially have gotten snowed into my building without food. Thus, when I asked him if I could stay at his house since I had nowhere else to go, I was fortunate to have them say yes. That week was probably the best spring break I've ever had, excluding the April break I had in high school where my music department went on a cruise to Bermuda, regardless of the fact that I was sick. I was able to get to know his parents a lot more than I already did, and I fell more in love with them and him as a result. The only downside of being on a spring break in a household full of working adults was that I was left alone (sort of. They have three dogs) for stretches of time while everyone was at work. However, while they were working I would explore their house and clean things for them as a thank you for letting me stay there. One of the things I found while exploring was my boyfriend's collection of things that he had accumulated over the course of our relationship. These things included the ticket stubs from our first date, (something I don't even have in my collection) to the parking slip he had to get to park at my university when he came to visit me for a weekend, to little notes and letters I've written him. I learned he was a bigger mush ball than I thought.
In that moment, I also had a startling realization. He had collected all these little things that had reminded him of our various adventures or of me. That kind of love, the kind where you see little things in your life that remind you of someone or where you do little things for that person because you want them to smile, that kind of love is special. Sure, it could become hoarding one day... but it also shows how all the small things start to add up.
If you think about it, this is true for all sorts of things. A friendship starts off with a bunch of small things that builds up into this bigger, greater thing.Some people may believe that life is just a much of landmark moments, and that is true in a sense. However, those landmark moments are really just moments where you see the finished product of all those smaller moments. Graduation is the final result of all those smaller moments spent studying and learning. A birthday is quite literally the final result of 525,600 minutes spent by you.
We spend all our time looking forward to those big moments in our lives, that we sometimes forget to look at the small moments we have. Yet, when we look back on things we miss, it's usually the smaller things. When someone dies, yes, you reminisce on the memories, but you also say things like "I miss when they would hum while making dinner." The small things are always taken for granted because we cannot see their worth while they are there. They are just one grain of sand in the hourglass. It is not until they gather with more grains of sand that we truly appreciate them.
Don't wait until all the sand has collected at the bottom of your hourglass, appreciate the grains of sand when you experience them.