How did this happen?

I wondered as one-by-one I pulled butter knife, after butter knife, from the silverware drawer, none matching the previous one. I dug a little deeper into the drawer and noticed six different patterns, no, seven, eight? Some have matches, others are loners. A few I recognize as having once belonged to my mom. One might have belonged to my husband, from his before-me life, and one from an ex-boyfriend. Another belonged to my former mother-in-law, a purchase she made with her Betty Crocker box-top points. The rest? Who knows, but they’re like a scrapbook of all the little bits of my life, up to now. Interesting.

This idea, that the mismatched knives are symbolic of a rich and meandering journey, not always on the beaten path, intrigues me. And that I made this connection between butter knives and life? It’s weird, I know, but that’s how my mind works. I can’t help myself. 

We’re all the sum total of previous experiences and relationships, even when it’s not obvious to us. Everything builds on the thing before and adds up to who we are, at this moment. Parental and sibling relationships have the earliest impact. Friends, romantic relationships and spouses come later. And our relationships with our own kids and grandkids come after. Deep meaningful connections or harmful relationships can disrupt our lives positively or in a negative way. Some of these relationships might even alter our course or lead us down an unexpected path. 

People show up in our lives and make a life-altering impact. Some we may rarely see, or ever see again, but they occupy a space in the history of us.

But the knives. Why would I even keep them all? I could give them to Goodwill, or throw them away, except there’s nothing wrong with them, besides not matching the others. Some are sharper and others duller, but they’re still useful, so being identical to the others, doesn’t seem to matter.

Memories, like my butter knives, are collectively unique, and you can’t erase them even if you wanted to. Not the worst or best ones, the sharpest or dullest. You could try to bury them away, but they’ve already made their impact on you, so the memory will survive someplace. We don’t always understand or appreciate the purpose of our memory stew. Tucked away in drawers, or in our minds, and we can’t just throw away our memories. They tell our story, good and bad, and they’re part of us.

Author’s Note: Much of my blog content is about marketing and copywriting tips. Once per month I indulge myself and write about something that matters to me, something that strikes me or just my personal POV. It’s my blog, so I get to write about what I want, but I thank you just the same for reading.

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