A few months back my parents sold my childhood home, and this past Christmas break is the longest stretch I’ve had to reflect and refocus for quite some time. It got me thinking about the moving process, of what we gather throughout our lives and what we leave behind:

  • People: whether we want it to or not, big moves can cut ties with those we’ve known all our lives. You know the ones: you aren’t best friends anymore but you like knowing they live a block away and that on Sundays you’ll sit behind the same family in church. These people are your constants. They make up your life and help build your world. Moving provides a chance to choose who you keep in your life on your journey. Moving provides a chance to look back and appreciate, or move on, from the company you once kept.
  • Toys/ideas: seeing the old dolls I took to the pool on sunny days with grandma, and holding old books with pages worn, almost brought me back to how I felt then. The innocence and curiosity in the games I played and stories I read. The ginormous bubble of excitement that only a child can feel by spending a perfect day with people they love. The whole world was massive and exciting and somehow very, very simple.
  • Then there are connections between toys, people, and ideas. Such as this sticky frog that lived on our ceiling ever since Kindergarten. Taking that little thing down last year brought a wave of emotions as things I hadn’t thought about in a while flooded back. Like the idea of innocent first love. Of countless Mario Kart 64 races and chucking cherries at each other in the backyard. Of simplicity and hope and all the things you carry around as a child before the world takes them from you.

All of these ideas stretched before me like a timeline of my life. These memories and objects are proof that I existed at all.

Even though life is more confusing now, there was a time when it all made sense. And I know that there will be glimpses of that childlike excitement again. Maybe not the excitement of my first crush, but the excitement of having money to take care of myself and the excitement of finding another soul that understands mine wholly.

Isn’t that thrilling and terrifying, but mostly thrilling?

My processing of the past makes me wonder about all of you: do you try to recall memories or ignore them? I find I don’t realize when the past is holding me back, and I’d like to stretch you to think about how you handle memories: suppression or expression or… any other way?

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