Ordinary Object

In high school, I used to wear a key around my neck.  When asked what it was for, I usually answered coyly “It’s the key to my heart.”  In reality, it was the key to a footlocker in my room, at the foot of my bed.  The footlocker contained all of my favorite things: my diaries, letters and cards, small trinkets I’d collected, stories that I had worked on.  In a large metaphorical sense, it was the key to my heart, as I put my heart and soul into that footlocker.

I still have that footlocker.  It still sits at the foot of my bed, and still holds all of the same things it held all of those years ago.  The key is now on my key chain with my house key and car key, so I still carry it everywhere.

Today, I am wearing a different key around my neck.  It is made by The Giving Keys, a company passionate about helping people affected by homelessness.  Each key contains a word, to serve as a reminder and an inspiration for the wearer and those around them.  The word I chose was STRENGTH.  I wanted it to be my reminder that, even when I feel that I might be weak, I am still strong.  That even when I know that I am weak, I can rely on others to share their strength.

So I have a key around my neck again.  Perhaps also the key to my heart, in a very different way.  Knowing that strength is a necessary component of keeping my heart intact.

1999 with the footlocker key
2016 with my Strength key