What would people make out of me if they found my boxes?
I’ve left pieces of me in many places, both literally and figuratively.
At Romain’s house in Paris remain some of the leftovers of my life in Kuala Lumpur. Will I ever see those again? Probably not. I don’t even remember what was in those bags - only one of them was really important.
In a Parisian attic, rest inside a green pouch, a compilation of the love letters I got throughout my first six years outside of Colombia.
They had to be contained in a pouch of considerable size because there were many. Only that bag is relevant. In the end, only our memories matter.
At James’ house, bits and pieces of my summery fashion still take space in some corner of his closet. On the walls of his house hangs some of my art, on his couch, my toys, and in his car, my playlists.
How ironic is it that the place where I have the least material belongings waiting for me is Colombia?
At the back of every single art piece I’ve ever created for someone, there’s a note for them. Some are as short as a few sentences, some as long as a few pages; regardless of the length, there’s always one.
On every plane I’ve ever taken, I’ve left little anonymous notes of love and kindness for whoever is lucky enough to find them. Some have been sweet and well thought out, and some have been simple but equally tender. I’ve taken so many planes. I wonder how many of my notes made someone smile, made someone remember something they’d forgotten about.
I’ve taken so many planes in this lifetime. I’d like to believe at least one of those notes made a difference for someone.
Every time I've finished a book, I’ve written in its back a careful dedication, and I’ve set it free where the next reader could find it. In every book, I’ve asked whoever finds it that they are kind enough to pass it on to someone else once they’re done with it.
“This book has done for me what it was supposed to - I hope it does the same for you and the next person.” I’ve written at the end of those books.
I’ve read many books and I’ve given all of them away.
I wonder how many of those volumes found their way into an endless spiral of fingers and eyes of new readers, how many of them are still free and out there in the world, changing someone’s life as I write this.
“Love should always be free,” I’ve been known to say. Love should always be free and I love books with passion and devotion so it is the only fitting thing to do with them - to set them free.
Now, as I pack my life once more, I can’t help but wonder what will happen with the pieces I carefully place in these very expensive plastic containers.
Will I ever see them again? Perhaps I won’t.
Only one box is truly important here: the one in which I’ve wrapped the diaries I've kept over the last 7 years. Those books are home to millions and millions of stories that are meant to remain untold - The deepest fears I’ve felt and the confessions I’ve shared with no one but the blank page. X's name scribbled along those pages probably more often than any other word.
At the back of every one of my diaries, the pages fill up with colors and traces of my sketches, characters, and paint that served as exploration so that I could later teach brushstrokes to others.
Suppose anyone curious enough would task themselves with examining my diaries. In that case, they’d learn a great deal about me contemplating those sketches, my erratic exercises of shapes and forms - if someone curious enough would look at my doodles, they’d learn perhaps more than reading my words.
I’ve taught art lessons for more than five years. Endless sessions, new faces almost every time. People take a bit of me when they enter the room and listen to my instructions. My students have heard me repeatedly say, "there are no mistakes in art, only happy accidents," in my best attempt to channel the wisdom of my dear Bob Ross. I've imprinted in every session the flavor of what art means to me - freedom of exploration, creative joy, no pressure.
I don’t know if I’m okay with never seeing my diaries again.
In some forgotten corner of Nana's house in Colombia are kept my Teenage journals. Notebooks I used to keep track of my findings as I devoured every psychology-related encyclopedia I could get my hands on. Summaries of my readings, reflections about my family, angsty texts about how I felt, and how I was determined to understand through reading and research everything I couldn't understand about the world, social interactions, and love. Especially love.
I've left bits and pieces of me scattered all over this Pale Blue Dot. I guess packing and leaving places always makes me think of that.
Moving out - Tallinn, Estonia. 2022.