When I left home to go study in the fall, I moved into a new suite. I hung up a cork board with a beautiful weaved pattern on my wall, over my desk. Originally, I came with a few things to hang on it, but nothing overwhelming: there were two tickets from a museum, strips from a photo booth, a picture I drew, a bracelet from a hospital visit that said 'Fall Risk,' and three photographs. It was very bare, but nice. I decided that more would be posted over the year, but nothing could be taken down (minus calendars and reminders). My board is nearly full, and it reminds me of how much I've gained as a person. Once you get past the menu for Chinese take away, an events calendar, and a map of how to measure the bones, it's amazing what small things have been added.
Take, for example, a postcard from a trip I took last semester. That weekend opened my eyes to how wonderful life is and the true joy of friendship: I never want to forget it. Or all the tickets from the museums I went to, where I've learned so much and have gone just to contemplate my life amongst history, art and science. There's a name tag with my name spelt 'Elizabell,' and I keep it not only for fun but to remember how many friends I made that night. There's a black and white photo of a stained glass window, and a small token shaped in a baby's outfit commemorating when my cousin welcomed his first daughter this October. There's famous works in the form of postcards and small notes of encouragement.
But I think one of my favorite things is a small list I keep on the side. It does not contain things to do or reminders, but the names of people. This was a practice recommended to me in September. The list of names is people who you would suffer for. So on those nights you truly do not want to continue your work and studies, the nights you just want to throw in the towel and quit, you look at the list and say "I do not want to continue for me right now, but I'm going to do it for them." You don't really put a lot of people on it, just a few. And it can be anyone, like God or My Future Child. I highly recommend it. Sometimes it sounds appealing to just pack up, go home and get a secretary job. Even though it's not the best thing for me, it's easier to hurt yourself than it is to hurt the one's you love. So, that list keeps me going some days. I highly recommend it.