Monday, July 19, 2010

Reflecting On The Past

 
The only large possession that I didn't sell or donate in May, was a steamer trunk that has been in my family for more than 100 years. It has been in my care, and the home of my beloved Cookie Monster, for the past two decades. As I continue to rearrange and sort through my life, I decided to give it a temporary home with family.  Returning to Denver for a week made this the perfect time to say goodbye.

After two days of appointments, seeing new friends, and reconnecting with old friends, I pulled up to my storage facility. I removed the lock and raised the door, surprised that my reaction was more emotional than I had anticipated. I walked into my unit and sat down on my grandmother's wooden stool. I scanned the small space, making a mental note of what few things remained. There was very little evidence that my previous life ever existed, and yet its history was in my head, my heart, and swirled and scraped on the canvases leaning up against the wall...

The past. We can't run away from it. It creates a timeline of who we are and where we've been. Even when that history hurts, we must recognize its importance when we begin new phases of our lives; we are a reflection of all that has transpired along our journey.

After spending the last year triumphing over the difficulties I have faced, I realize such transformation could not have taken place without accepting and learning to be grateful for the pieces of my history that have brought shame, disappointment, and sadness. They are part of me... extensions of my experiences and reminders that, how I react and respond to events, contribute to my future; I must choose to let what is, what is not, what was, or might have been shape me for the better rather than shut me down.

The sooner we can accept where we are from, the sooner we can become who we want to be. Accepting the truth of the past, our lives open up in an entirely new way. With that, I realize there is no need for secrets. We can remember things the way we choose to remember them, and I choose to accept everything about my life and move forward as gracefully as possible.




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