My Christmas decorations are up. Which means that every inch of my apartment is covered in glitter and lights. I put them up the day after Thanksgiving. People have very strong opinions about when to put up Christmas decorations or listen Christmas music. I have zero opinions on the matter; I just had a day off from work, and I was feeling it.
Rules aren’t a big thing for me, so I’m not particular about the timeline for my holiday decor. For those who know me, this shouldn’t come as a surprise, as I generally do things when I feel like it’s the right time. This works for me and against me, because it means that I’ll go after what I want, but that sometimes involves frosted sugar cookies from 7/11.
And then there’s my phone. I need a new one. My friends have called it “the brick” “Nokia’s cousin” and “Hahahahahaha, ohmigod what is that?” I’m continuously deleting things to make room for more storage. Last week I deleted the Facebook app. Which actually was really freeing. Turns out, I don’t need to check notifications on the regular from people I haven’t spoken to in 7 years.
On several occasions, I’ve been at a work event and had to stop taking pictures because my phone gives me the “NO MORE STORAGE, YOU IDIOT!” warning. I’m paraphrasing, but it certainly feels like that when you’re suddenly told that no, you cannot capture the image of a child who’s sewing an LED circuit to make a light up bracelet. (P.S. How effing cool is that?)
My phone is three and a half years old. In phone terms, that’s seventy gazillion years old. So, yeah, I’m due for an upgrade. That’s not the issue.
It’s not a procrastination thing, either. (Which is definitely in my wheelhouse.) I’ve already picked out which phone I want. I started filling out the paperwork. It’s a saved PDF on my desktop. A nice, daily reminder of what I’m not getting done.
It’s a letting go thing.
Unfortunately, this old, decrepit, piece-of-shit phone has irreplaceable value. Because on it are texts and a voicemail from my cousin, who I lost two years ago this December. But they aren’t just texts and a voicemail. They are memories. Tangible ones. Of us.
There are apps to save these memories. Of course there are. We live in a world that has an app to tell you what nearby ghosts are thinking. So of course there’s an app to export texts and voicemails to keep safely on my hard drive.
But it’s not the same. Because right now, on my crappy, piece-of-shit phone, I carry his voice with me. I have his words on hand. Not that I listen or look that often. But they’re there. And then–somewhere–subconsciously–I feel like he’s there with me, too.
This is the first time in two years I’ve decorated for Christmas. I can’t explain why I wanted to this year. Maybe to literally give my winter some sparkle. Or maybe I really wanted to see my town back in action. Or maybe I began letting go pieces of pain from losing my cousin and was ready to return to this tradition that I do, in fact, love.
So while it’s annoying that my phone dies at 57% percent and that my photos are pixellated like original Nintendo, I’ve accepted that I’m just not there yet. I’m not ready to let go of our last interactions being carried with me always.
Glittery trees, twinkly lights, and Christmas music, though? Bring it on. I’m ready.