what is mine? let's talk about ownership

Updated: Dec 24, 2018

What is mine?

I am on the train to visit my family (mine), and I am writing this with Zoe's pen (not mine). I have my backpack (borrowed from my dad), and the biggest pink water bottle you could ever imagine (mine).

How do you prove you own something? Adults keep receipts, or at least they tell me I should be keeping them. I have one receipt stuck on my fridge, for a concert ticket. I guess that ticket is mine. The concert is not mine. I own access to a possible memory, just as everyone else does with a ticket to that show. But every ticket and memory owned will be different.

This train is not mine. I have paid nine dollars to own space for an hour and seventeen minutes of movement.

My mom says when I was little, I wouldn’t stop asking questions about everything, to the point where it was annoying. You know the curious kids? When do we lose that, and how do the lucky ones get it back?

I own the right to be that kid again. I own my time, my voice, and my words.

Can you own someone? I ask this from a perspective of feeling thoughts outside my body. People look in the mirror and don’t want to own the reflection they see. I gravitate between deciding I won’t own this body until it’s perfect, and deciding I should claim it and love it as it is. I know the correct route, but like most people, I find self-hate much easier than self-love. Do parents own their children? Do partners own each other? I call my best friend “my Zoe," but she is not really mine.

You cannot prove the existence of anything outside of yourself. All you can prove is that you have yourself, and you have nothing to own. ✉

piece + visual: ellen grace parsons



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