When you’re the owner of a cloudy, unreliable childhood memory database, digging through boxes from the past is like meeting a younger version of yourself for the first time. Each class photo, laughably short journal entry, or overly detailed paper on the state bird of Delaware is a peek into the world of a focused, curious kid who now walks around in today’s lanky-limbed adult skin.
Taking attic inventory (literally) is a perfect way to chart the course of a life spent wondering and processing. The raw mental materials that would ultimately comprise the cement mix poured into the foundation of an often rigid structure were once still malleable enough to allow room for flexible movement of thought and action.
Hope. Promise. Excitement. Strategy. When we’re young, we overflow with anticipation for what still lies ahead and the pages waiting to be written. There is a hidden naivety beneath that level of optimism, but it’s pretty nice to visit a time before disappointment, disenchantment, regret, or rejection….even if it’s only a temporary trip.
Transporting to the past offers not only a nostalgic walk down memory lane but also a stark reminder of the brevity of that stroll. We spend so much of our developing years watching an hourglass filled with limitless sand empty at an almost imperceptible pace. At some point, we pick up this decorative clock for a closer look at the levels, and we’re shocked by the shifted weight.
It’s easy to take these modern monotonous days for granted, but they are all little limited editions just waiting to be maximized. The tedium of today can be the reminiscence of tomorrow. It’s all in the framing…or reframing.
A marathon is not run on a loop, and there’s a reason we crave scenic variety. But it’s better to fall from trying to outrun the vanishing sand than to be buried beneath it. At least there’s more padding on top of the pile.
Carpe diem. Have a healthy, wonderful, and wholly original 2020.