collecting seashells

A little break. Don't worry, you will have all the wormwood you want soon enough.

When I was a kid I always wanted a collection, but every time I picked up something it felt kind of meaningless--this was supposed to be fun, but what did they do? They just sat there. I didn't realize until much later that what I needed was to form an emotional connection with them. It didn't matter what the objects were or why the connection was there, just that it existed. So last month, while I was walking along the beach, I picked up a seashell, because it was pretty, and I decided that I'd keep it. I decided to have a seashell for each of my regrets.

I had a lot to catch up on.

I spent my evenings doing that over the next couple weeks. There were seashells for all the old girlfriends I wish I hadn't broken up with, and seashells for the ones I wish I'd never dated. A few for the girls I wished I had. There were seashells for the stupid things I'd said in high school, for all the things I thought were cool that I changed my mind about, and vice-versa.

The important thing was, these couldn't just be any old seashells. They had to fit. If it was a big regret, it couldn't just be an everyday seashell. It had to be spectacular. I had a lot of very beautiful seashells by the end.

I caught up on all the regrets I could think of last week, so I've stopped walking the beach as much, but I'm still collecting. I pretty routinely make terrible decisions, and I'm going to chronicle it in seashells. At least this way I'll finally make something beautiful out of a lifetime of regret.

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