Recently, I found a love note from the 1950s sent to me by a boy named Ricky.

The letter was written on a piece of fragile, lightweight and brittle piece of paper, a soft caramel brown, the blue lines of old cursive writing practice sheets handed out to us during the 1950s faintly visible.

This “thing” makes me smile every time I read the carefully written message. Without knowing who Ricky was, and even if he didn’t know how to spell my name correctly, I am moved.

Attaching sentimental value to things is something we do as humans.

Yet in the age of minimalism and conversations about valuing experiences over objects, why do some things take on meaning, and others simply become clutter?

Exploring this topic on my Substack newsletter, out today: