Mel Greig: Why holding onto the past isn't all bad

For the past week I’ve been stuck at home, and the first five days I was living the dream with 10 hour Netflix binges every day BUT believe it or not, there is actually a thing as too much TV (insert gasps of horror).

I’m saving my books for my impending holiday, so I needed to find something else to pass the time. I started to go through my cupboards and a couple of hours in, I saw it – it was just like the Jumanji board with its chants and glow, it was calling me – my memory box.

Here’s what happens when you get bored at home and unearth your memory box… Photo: Instagram/melgreigradio

Now for the rare few that aren’t familiar with a memory box, it’s literally a box that you store your physical memories in, and I’ve had mine for over 20 years.

At this point I would like to apologise to an ex-boyfriend for making him destroy his memory box because it contained memories of his ex-girlfriend, and at the time I thought that meant he still loved her.

Now as a mature adult I understand that a memory box doesn’t mean you are hanging onto things for a reason, it simply means that it’s nice to ‘remember’ and that doesn’t mean you are still in love with someone, or you’re yearning for them.

I spent a good three hours going through my memory box and I had all the feels. I was either laughing or simply feeling nothing. Let me explain, because for me I realised that my memory box had also become a ‘healing’ box.

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I have everything in this magical box from the first rose I was ever given, that I’d pressed between phone books to treasure for life, to the winning tickets from my first date at Time Zone.

It even has a letter that my ex-husband posted to me about a year ago. This had the potential to be a disaster zone, but I kept everything for a reason and they were about to all serve their purpose.

From life souvenirs to letters from ex-husbands, a memory box will make sure you never forget anything. Photo: Supplied

We don’t necessarily hang onto things because we haven’t moved forward, I feel they serve as reminders as to how far we’ve come, or to test how that moment now makes us feel. To have physical printed photos is so rare these days, my memory box is full of photos from my young years and I love that, and it reminded me that I have 8000 photos on a phone that I might lose one day, and then I’ve got nothing. I’m so thankful my sister sends printed photos of my niece and nephew every few months.

Memory boxes are so important, and we need to fill them with as much as we can. The letter that my now ex-husband sent me gave me a lot of closure, and it took away any hate that I had for him. Even though he had hurt me so much and lately those feelings had been resurfacing, to read that letter again it made me feel ok about things, and I kind of felt nothing for him. He never sent letters, the majority of our conversations were on the phone or in messages, so that one simple written letter has made a huge difference and it will forever stay in my memory box.

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I asked a few of my closest friends what they had kept in their memory boxes and these are a few of my favourite responses:

“The condom wrapper from when I lost my virginity.”
“My first positive pregnancy test.”
“A photo from my first Blue Light Disco.”
“A pubic hair from the love of my life.”

Please don’t judge the last comment, she was so in love with him in a non-crazy way. Do yourself a favour and open your memory box and if you don’t have one… start one.

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