The other day I was walking home from the supermarket and I glanced down at my very worn in boots that had become soaked by the rain, and all of the sudden a thousand memories flooded my mind. Memories of the places that they've taken me, both the incredible and the tough times that they've seen, and all the stories that they could tell came rushing towards me faster than I could process. Traveling has forced me to make purposeful decisions about my clothes, taking into account their flexibilty amongst different seasons, practicality, comfort, and style. When I got home and put my boots away in the closet I took a quick scan of my clothes to see if anything else stood out to me as particularly meaningful. When I did, I noticed that there were several key pieces in my wardrobe that I continue to reach for again and again no matter where we are.
As you can see by the pictures, these pieces have been very loved over time. They're faded, they have stains, tears, and small rips, but that doesn't stop me from wearing them regularly. In the past, as soon as my clothes got a stain or small tear I would toss them to the side and find something else to replace them, but now I see what a waste that was. It's the ones with imperfections that are the guardians of the stories and cherished memories.
When I look at my water-stained boots with worn toes, I am reminded of those first few months after we arrived in Finland and I quickly realized that my Texas wardrobe was not going to cut it in the fridgid north. So I sought out to find something that would keep my feet warm and be comfortable enough to wear on a regular basis (before I was forced to wear snow boots full-time) and I finally found some that fit the bill. I stressed over that first scratch, trying to diguise it and erase it from sight. Now, after countless scratches and stains, each new one only adds character and a new chapter to their story. Those boots felt the first snow of our first winter in Joensuu, they collected crumbs while I indulged in countless mouth-watering pastries in Paris, they protected me from the fierce winds on the Irish coast, and now they carry me the two blocks to school everyday in Chile.
But this post is not really about my shoes, or any of my clothes for that matter, it's about the stories that they hold deep in their fabrics. I've always been one that loves to drag out the old family albums to reminisce and relive old memories. I think that's why photography speaks to me so much, it allows me to capture those moments in time, happy or sad, and feel them no matter how much time has past. It's the stories that I really cherish, and my boots are just a reminder to keep pursuring memories. Sometimes I lose sight, but I know that in the end it's the stories that will last, not the stuff. So this is just a reminder to myself, keep pursuring memories, you won't regret it.
What brings back those cherished memories for you?
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