Uncovering Unexpected Treasure

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in Personal Growth

The search for a missing document drove me to the box.

The box is a large container I have dragged from house to house over the years. It is stuffed with miscellaneous papers, notes, drawings, cards, ticket stubs, pictures, report cards, locks of hair, and first teeth.

It contains my past.

I don’t like going to the box. It is disorganized. Smells slightly musty. Feels dusty and old. It has been years since I have looked at anything it contained.

But, circumstances required that I look. So I did. And, found unexpected treasure.

Memory is a tricky thing. You think you know what you know. But, then again, maybe you don’t.

As I started going through the box, I realized there is so much I have forgotten. And, worse yet, so much I didn’t even remember correctly.

I found my kindergarten report card. All I remember about kindergarten was getting in trouble and having to stand in the corner because I was chasing a cute boy. Imagine. Yet, my report card talks about what a good student I was and how I always asked interesting questions. My third grade teacher noted that I wrote good stories. Another teacher mentioned that I had a wonderful imagination.

Who knew? I didn’t. I didn’t remember those things about my younger self.

Digging deeper into the box, I found notes from friends passed during high school classes giving me a glimpse into my life then. What was important to me. How I spent my time. What I laughed about. What I fretted about. I found old love letters so poignant that the depth of the emotion could be felt even today from the bottom of a dusty box.

Things I had forgotten. Things I want to remember.

They inform who I was and who I will yet become. They remind me of all the gifts I have been given. They remind me that what I thought was true about myself might not be true at all. They tell stories I want to hold in my heart.

Priceless.

Do you have your own box? Dive in. You just might discover something amazing

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Justin | Mazzastick April 9, 2011 at

I actually threw out a lot of old stuff that I was carrying around that I didn’t need anymore. It was part of my minimalist experiment.
Justin | Mazzastick recently posted..Are You Being Fairly Compensated For Your Work

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Andrea April 9, 2011 at

I enjoyed digging through the stuff in my box but ended up scanning a lot of it that I wanted to keep, making notes about a few things, and tossing the rest. I’m not afraid of looking in “the box” anymore. ;-) Thanks, Justin.

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Rita April 9, 2011 at

Oh, my old friend: I could have told you how funny, smart, creative, and wise you were back in school. Perhaps one of the best things about connecting with those who knew us when we were younger is that they can help us see the past more clearly. Old friends are a kind of relic, too–no? :-) Definitely they are a treasure.
Rita recently posted..Connecting the dots

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Andrea April 9, 2011 at

Rita, you are a treasure. We will be beacons of light for each other … illuminating the past. Thank you, my friend.

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Rita April 9, 2011 at

Would love to see you again. Right now is not possible. Most likely, not until summer. But let’s try to plan something then. I want to see you and your wonderful daughter before she’s too grown up.
Rita recently posted..Connecting the dots

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Vanessa@Luxuria April 11, 2011 at

Wow! how I envy you. My sister threw out my treasure box with all my school reports etc when I left home (she said she didn’t realise I was coming back for them!!!) And since then I’ve often yearned to be able to go back and look at all my childhood memories; the first angel I made for our Christmas tree, my report cards, my prize for winning sports day etc. I feel sad that I don’t have a pandora’s box to go back too, and all I have are some scanty memories that fade more and more each day with time :-(

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Andrea April 11, 2011 at

That is such a bummer, Vanessa! All I can suggest, is writing down what you remember now so that it doesn’t fade away completely. Interestingly, I think when we focus on capturing memories by using all of our senses we unearth more than we thought was possible. I hope that is true for you.

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