Do you collect anything? I’ve always wanted to. The idea of a special collection of unique items, carefully gathered from around the world, each with its own tale yet a part of a whole—it was just so appealing. I imagined shelves of fascinating figurines or scrapbooks covered with one-of-a-kind photographs. Wouldn’t it be fun to show it off to visitors and friends? It would be a great point when people ask the “list five interesting things about yourself” question.
I can’t remember what my first collection was. Maybe it was the paper napkin one. I thought it would be fun to keep a paper napkin from parties and events I went to, because it was a unique memento and paper napkins are pretty. That died off pretty quickly, though, because I’m one of those unsocialized homeschoolers (and an introvert, to boot!) and didn’t really go to parties. Okay, I’m kidding, about the unsocialized part, at least. But still, I just couldn’t find enough opportunities to boost my collection.
Then I moved on to travel brochures, which only lasted while I lived in Europe. Next was seashells, which only lasted while I lived (relatively) near the ocean. Then there was stamp collecting, which I sort of still do. But once high school set in, I realized that while stamp collecting is nice, it’s not enthralling enough to spend my scarce, and therefore precious, free time on.
I resigned myself to the fact that I just wouldn’t have a collection. There was nothing that I loved enough to spend time collecting, nothing that would remain no matter where I lived.
It wasn’t until very recently that I realized I was wrong.
It started with Scrivener—which I’m in love with, by the way. I was scrolling through my documents, when I came across my list of good quotes. I thought it would be fun to use the chapter feature on Scrivener to organize my randomly-assorted quotes into organized groups. I started getting really excited—maybe I could transfer all the quotes in my good old-fashioned notebook onto Scrivener too!
And that’s when I realized it.
I collect words. Quotes, I guess, to be more specific. I have them scribbled on journals and sticky notes—I even have a separate quotes notebook—and typed on various documents and even in some of my posts here. When I read a library book, I always place a sticky note on the bookmark to record a page number of a good quote. If it’s my own, I underline or bracket and flip back through it once I’m done to copy everything down. On my Nook, I highlight and then copy. It took me a while to realize that not everyone does that, that not everyone savors—collects— quotes like I do.
Why do I love them so much? My best answer is by Jame Michener: I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions. I love words, the way they resonate within me, inspire me, draw me closer to God, reveal whole new worlds, open my eyes, pierce my soul. And really, it’s not worth it to collect something that offers any less than that.
So what do you collect? Have you been in my shoes, wanting to collect something but without any inspiration? I’d love to hear your story!