When I was a young child, maybe 3 or 4 years old, I remember being obsessed with a particular yellow blanket. It was the most ideal blanket a child could ever ask for. If I estimated the perimeter, it may have been 3″ x 3″ – perfect for my tiny body. The blanket was different colors on both sides – one side a pale banana yellow, the other a strong custard. The trim was a cream satin approximately two inches thick in width. The softness factor = like being wrapped around a cotton candy cloud. It was that ideal.
I remember never going to bed without it, wrapping it around me wherever I went (even if I was outside), and nibbling on the corners because I liked the odd taste. I loved that blanket so much that even when I went to the Philippines for the first time with my family, my mom had to cut a square of that blanket to take with me on the plane. The last memory I had of the blanket was on the plane, holding onto it tightly because I was scared of being on such a frighteningly large and unfamiliar contraption.
Today, that blanket is gone. It’s amazing to think about the objects we grow so attached to at such a young age and the detachment process that comes with it. It’s very similar to Stephanie La Cava’s An Extraordinary Theory of Objects. Objects defined and suffocated her and became an excuse for her self-proclaimed strangeness. However, she had to learn to disassociate herself from those objects in order to fully “grow up”. Like the blanket, I had many objects that I grew attached to but slowly detached myself from as I moved onto the next best thing. It scares me to think how easy it was to detach myself from something I loved more than anything at that period in time.
There is a different kind of detachment I am learning about now though. It’s a detachment that can be temporary only if you want it to be. The detachment is temporary because you’re also clinging onto every possible lifeline there is for it to remain, even though it has all the potential in the world to be taken away from you. When you’re a child, you don’t realize how important these things are and they ultimately become warm memories. However, as an adult you are fully and mentally capable of remembrance. As an adult, you want to hold onto those things that make you feel alive and happy because well, damn, life is too short.
It is terrifying when external factors or even, destiny or fate, decide to throw a couple of curve balls to make you question your attachment to certain things in the first place. When you feel close to something, but know that it can’t potentially be there forever for whatever reason – it’s a frightening thought. Especially, if you really like those things because they are helping you become the best version of yourself.
My co-worker was telling me that I have to learn how to temporarily detach myself from these special things that could potentially be gone forever, so it won’t be painful if it ever does get to the point of permanent detachment.
My problem? I don’t want that to happen. I want to make sure that those things that make feel alive are with me as long as humanly possible because, really, life is too damn short.