I think we can all agree that the feeling of nostalgia is an intense twinge in your heart, far more powerful than memory alone. A certain smell, a melody or even a glimpse of a picture from your past can dig up even the deepest of caches. It really is quite remarkable how many emotions ensue after our recollections begin & more importantly- the things that trigger them.

The other night when I was leaving my mother’s house, she asked me to meet her downstairs to pick up some of the bins from my childhood. She was elated to clear out the space in her storage, but I however, was not thrilled to take on the boxes of old trinkets. She reminded me that they were in fact my memories and she wasn’t going to be the one who decides which ones that I keep.

As I started to dig through them, I slowly realized how important it is to retrace your steps as you move forward through life. That doesn’t mean that you need to stay in the past once you graze the memory. The importance lies within soaking up the pieces of ourselves that we have moved on from, in order to see how much we have grown.

I found a letter to myself in one of the boxes from when I was 15 years young. It was an assignment that our high school required for every freshman and the intent was to receive it back when you graduated. As I started reading, I realized that I had never opened mine until that moment (Truly living up to my procrastination trademark). Although my teenage angst was utterly cringe-worthy, there were so many raw and delicate moments that I will now cherish forever. Between the sobbing into my sweatshirt and the laughter, I found myself calling my sisters to share with them what they had written to me over a decade ago. Amongst the letters, there were photos dating back to 1991- the year I was born (or as my father would tell you, the year that the Twins won the World Series.) As I scavenged through them, I found this one:

The funny thing is, we were all laughing this hard as we went over the memories, in the same way that we did once in a land called childhood.  I think we are all guilty of trying to prep and reach for what lies ahead of us- when some of the best (& worst) times are back in our storyline. I would encourage everyone to go under the steps, in the cupboard or attic- wherever the forgotten photo albums and family videos have gone to create dust. You won’t be disappointed in the least bit & maybe you will find some details about yourself that you have misplaced while working towards your best adult self. We all had to start somewhere—so what better way to connect the lines for what made you who you are this very moment.

Written By: Hayley Sutherland

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