This is a gift box from a friend. She gave me a necklace, she said, because she was thinking of me. I wear the necklace but I like the box, too, because it’s sweet and small and she put time into making it pretty. A thing to be treasured.
I like it, also, because it reminds me that it took me a lot of life to be okay with receiving gifts. For a long time it was anxiety-making: the exchange of it, and what I was supposed to give back, what unstated expectation I wasn’t comprehending or wasn’t capable of fulfilling. The whole thing around feeling worthy. The whole thing about trusting that someone could give something just because they wanted to. Just because they were thinking of me.
The whole idea that someone was thinking of me.
I like to give gifts to people—to those I love but also to those I don’t know very well and wish I knew better. I used to bake cookies for my favorite bands when they came to town. I used to peruse antique malls for sparkly costume jewelry to wrap in brown paper and ribbons and present to friends. And sometimes I’d find or buy or make the perfect thing for the perfect person—just because I was thinking of them—and then I couldn’t bring myself to give it.
I have a shelf for those gifts, still wrapped, still waiting to be offered up.
Still things to be treasured.