Today, while rummaging around in my room for a book I sorely wanted to re-read, I came across something entirely different. As it often happens when you are looking for one thing you find something completely unrelated and distracting. Something, that perchance you haven’t thought about in years. In my case it was a card of sorts, a flimsy rectangular piece of paper with a cartoon character (Stella from the Winx Club) on it. It was a makeshift entry card to our ‘exclusive’ clubhouse. This illustrious institution was founded in the attic, the summer that our cousins visited and so the four of us became card carrying members of ‘The Clubhouse’.

Coming back to present day, I was looking at the card and on a whim decided to go into the old attic. As I stood there looking at the now bare walls and remembered all the pictures we hung up, the rules which stated that only members carrying their cards would be allowed in. In retrospect this was a convoluted rule since we always left our cards in the club house! As I sat there on the cold floor, gazing out the attic window into the garden, I was overcome by a flood of memories.

I remember being 12 and running down the staircase and suddenly lurching forward and tumbling down the stairs, I had a horrible cut in my leg for weeks and I have scar till date. I remember learning to cycle and scrapping my leg horribly, earning me yet another scar. Then there was the time I was ostracised by my friends at school for nearly months or so it seemed at that age where ‘fitting in’ is our hearts desire. That left yet another scar, though not as visible as the others. All these scars brought me pain but as I sat there I realised we all have them and they make us who we are. Our wounds heal but the memories remain to remind us that even though we once believed that the pain would overwhelm us, we persevered. And so we hope and trudge on.

I remember being ridiculously happy when my sister was born, when I was chosen to play the lead in the school play, when I got my driver’s license, when the 7th book of Harry Potter released (who wasn’t happy?), I could go on and on. But to temper these memories of joy, are memories of sorrow so profound I feel you are drowning and like I will never surface. I remember when my grandma passed away, when my dad fell ill and succumbed to that disease. Such memories though years apart make you realise that life is ultimately about balance, that you have to take the good with the bad. Memories of love and life are the light on days that sorrow darkens your doorstep. They have made you who you are, ready to face all those difficulties you never see coming, while smiling through those happy moments you will always want to relive.

I remember moments of failure, like when I failed my chemistry exam or when I failed an entrance exam to a course. At those times it wasn’t my parents harsh words or cold looks that made me want to persevere and not give up. It was their warm hug of acceptance, their words of encouragement and their relentless faith in my ability to succeed. Then there are memories of getting into the school hockey team, graduating among the top of my class, being accepted by my dream school, the claps that echo in the hall as I walk across the stage to claim my awards. Achievements and failures go hand in hand. While there are times I wish I had not failed, I know that is these memories of failure that spurred me on to those things in my life which I now cherish.

As I grow older I have come to believe that we are moulded by our memories. They are my greatest treasure, they give me hope and allow me to dream. For I know, that when my heart is breaking, I will find the strength to put it back together, for all the times I am crying, I will one day be laughing and when I fall down, I will always try to get back up.

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