A lesson in collecting memories


Recently I had an experience which forced me to concentrate on collecting memories instead of things. And by things, I specifically mean collecting images. Since my background is in photography and have owned a thriving photography business, and currently highly active on creating a very beautiful curated feed on Instagram this was a hard lesson to swallow.

I was recently on a weekend trip to Paris with my best friend (hello to crossing something off the bucket list!) and within hours of arriving my entire purse with phone, wallet, and camera was stolen. I am well traveled and knew the area we were in was sketchy and thought I was doing a really good job keeping everything close and near. But sadly, one moment I had my possessions and the next moment they were gone.

I felt naked and vulnerable, and very threatened.

But I persevered and tried to see any silver lining there might be. Thankfully I found a few!

The biggest one was:

instead of being focused on collecting things or images.

As a photographer I felt like my left arm had been ripped from me, I kept on wanting to reach for my camera or my phone to capture a moment or a scene then remembered neither were there. So instead, I stood in the moment and put to memory all the sights, sounds, tastes, and how it felt to be in that moment. Sometimes I would purposefully blink my eyes as if it was a camera shutter hoping to capture everything as it was, something that a photograph never could.

I lingered longer than I usually do and soaked up more than I have before, because I wasn’t distracted by making sure I got the perfect angle, the light fell exactly where it should be, or that everything was laid out perfectly that it would attract more likes on social media.

I had to let go of the items that brought me joy and realize that things are exactly that, things. The brown handbag in the image above and the silk scarf are gone, I will never see them again. They held memories and left me feeling delighted in my core desired feelings, but they weren’t everything. They were just things, things that I won’t carry with me for the rest of my life, but memories I will.

Memories are the stories we tell when we’re gathered around a bottle of wine with our girlfriends and you share delicious secrets. Memories are when you lay your head against your love and whisper dreams and your heart’s desire in the dead of the night. Memories are when you curl your babe into your lap and smell their sweet scent and remember that they once smelt like melted butter with honey.

Memories are the stories you will tell for years to come when trends change, handbags have lost their shape, cameras are out of date, and photographs have faded or scrolled into years past on your social media profile.

Share: What lesson are you learning lately, and have you had a hard knock so that you finally listened to what the universe/God was telling you?



  • ArshSeptember 1, 2016 - 12:46 PM

    Oh Lesley,

    I’m so sorry to hear that your handbag was stolen! But it’s amazing how you turned things around and enjoyed your trip by taking it all in a little (actually a lot) more than normal. You are absolutely right about memories. Memories of the essence of longing for past experiences and wishing a moment would repeat again. What better way to cherish a special moment than take a mental photo and keep it close to heart that way.ReplyCancel

    • LesleySeptember 12, 2016 - 9:29 AM

      Thank you Arsh! It was quite an emotional time but I think it all worked out perfectly in the end! 🙂ReplyCancel