I am an obsessive scrapbooker – I’ve kept some sort of record, memory of each year that I’ve started scrapbooking – probably since I was in year 4. I was that kid who gave everyone leaving scrapbooks, all images and messages from teachers and friends alike laid beautifully on the page, an incoherent mess to some, but an artfully laid collage of memories forever immortalised on the page. A moment of time simply encapsulated in a small image, taken by an insignificant entity, to be reflected upon by the person I would give the scrapbook too and other admirers.
Through the many years of my existence I have filled countless of notebooks and sketchbooks with endless photographs of people smiling into the camera, washi tape and stickers; my pocket money very well spent on stationary – an understandable weakness of mine, which was a blessing in disguise because it has prevented me from getting a cavity filling. It also has started a minor obsession with Pinterest – check my wall out here!
Scrapbooking, essentially allows us to immortalise and keep memories, as previously mentioned. Storing photographs are one way to preserve previous experiences, but there’s something special to me, about printing off the carefully placed pixels which form a photograph, and poring for hour arranging them on an A4 page. I’ve tried to give my wallet a break countless of times and not give into scrapbooking, but there’s always something that draws me back. Something quite irresistible about sticking glossy printed photos onto prettily pattered scrapbook paper.
I believe that it’s a subconscious desire to hold on to the good times, so in a midst of stormy waters I don’t loose hope. When I’m feeling down I look at my scrapbooks and get transported to a happier region of my mind, of past memories filled with sunshine and laughter. Scrapbooking is an outlet for keeping memories, but another way I meticulously record details that images can’t express is through diary writing. I’ve been keeping a journal for a long time, but in a diary I record every memory, the good, the bad and the plain ugly, but some spark ideas which I post online. Stripping away the layers I place on myself daily and reveals the natural creative inside of me, which can only be explored when I put the world which mass produces artificial, impersonal content away, just for a little bit. It allows me to breathe, produce raw content, a raw and vulnerable side exposes a gentle beauty, unable to be replicated by big media companies.
Both mediums used cohesively allow me to recall very vividly past experiences, but also are forms of expressing creativity, as well as an outlet for emotion, especially stress. I think journalling (not just scrapbooking because it takes tonnes of time) was my secret to not burning out during exam time. A form of mindfulness well known is journalling, especially for gratitude, and is a fantastic habit which has been picked up by highly successful people. For a complete list, check out 23 Habits of highly successful people. Regardless, I am a testimony to the effectiveness of constant journalling in keeping my sanity through times.
I suppose everybody has a little private, non physical niche of the world they enter, to do something they enjoy and helps them. If you don’t scrapbook or journal, I highly suggest you at least try it out once or twice. But whatever it is, memories deserve to be held in a place of esteem and worthy to be treasured. Remember both good and bad memories, for they make the person you are today. I suppose that’s why I scrapbook – to see the evolution of myself.