Monday, April 30, 2012

Life Experiences

Sometimes I have moments when I love digging into my past - flipping through old scrapbooks, pulling up pictures on my computer, and rummaging through my big plastic bin of keepsakes from years gone by.

At times, I feel like these moments I'm looking at happened so very long ago... and then as I dust off the mental details of a photo and remember where I was, who I was with, and what we were doing, it feels as though I was just in that moment yesterday.

As I look around the walls of our house, have a staring contest with one of my dogs, or fall to sleep listening to the hum of our ceiling fan... I think about what got me to this place in my life.

I don't open up about everything on this little written journal I call my blog - but sometimes, I wish I would have started it years before I did in 2008.  I am that girl who has journals, notebooks, and dairies.  It's how I reflect.

For many years - in elementary school, middle school & part of high school... I envisioned myself being older.  I pictured myself with long blond hair leaving the mall with shopping bags filling the trunk of my white VW Beetle.  While part of that vision has become my reality (I do drive a white beetle) - I never imagined the events that would happen and the people I would meet to build my character through the years of growing older.

When I finally made it to college, I remember something inside of me screaming - 'cherish these moments... stop wishing to grow older.  Be present.'.  And at that point, I started making a conscious decision to take small moments in.  I mean, really take them in.

I lived on my own in college for 2 years - in a tiny studio apartment.  I loved being there.  Although I wasn't often alone - I remember moments of standing alone, feet buried in the carpet looking at my open computer on my dusty desk, pictures scattered across the wall and feeling amazed at where I was.  I remember dancing around Union Square to a street band's saxophone with my new friends that I had met after I make the trek to college not knowing a single person.  I took pictures in my mind of those sweet girls in bright dresses, high heels, and boas... and was filled with warmth to know I had made friends in a new place.

I dated that 'wrong for me guy', and at the time of getting my heart broken regretted every memory with him... but looking back - I realized that relationship, and the others I have had, helped build my character.  It also gave me a platform to connect with other people and the ability to say "I've been there" when you're talking to a friend going through the same thing.  There is something about the chase and getting your heart broken that opens you up, makes you vulnerable, and builds your inner strength.  

All of the people I have met - through high school, college, internships, social functions, jobs, communities, events... they all have provided an avenue for me to explore & connect.  These memories with them, our conversations, the topics, ideas, and discussions have built my growing file of connections.

I guess what I am getting to, through all of this babble... is that every experience we have - whether big or small, good or bad, insignificant or important... shapes us into who we are.  

My mom and I were having one of our long phone conversations last week... we were talking about specific things happening in my life right now that sometimes cause me frustration and hurt.  She reminded me that even though our adventures may not always be positive, they give us the opportunity to grow, learn something.  It's another avenue to connect with others and we can file these experiences into our growing cabinet of life development and who we are. {Think Bruce Almighty... when he was meeting with "god" ;)}

I guess it's another way of saying you're in charge not of what happens to you, but how you deal with it.  I am trying my very best to see everything that happens, good or bad, as just another piece of my own life's cake.  And eventually, everything that is happening now has a direct influence on where I will be years from now... and those pictures, keepsakes, and diaries will end up in a plastic bin that I will probably be digging through some day thinking about how they helped lead me to where I will be.

17 comments:

heather said...

Oh so very true Tracy! I can totally appricate this out look and am a firm believer that the challenges and hands that we are dealt in life are for a reason and that we just have to believe that it is going to get us to where we are suppose to be. Good luck with your latest challenges.

Claire Kiefer said...

So wise of you. :) I'm the same way about delving into the past: I love looking at old pictures, emails, etc. It's crazy to think of all the experiences that got us where we are, and how we'd be totally different without them. Also: I love your header!

Smiling is Good for Your Teeth said...

This is a great way to look at life! Very positive! It is so important to remember these things and put these feelings and emotions first when we ARE feeling hurt.

Love the quote!

Jessah @ Dreaming of Dimples said...

Very insightful, well written post my friend. Thank you for the great reminder. ;)

Pamela said...

LOVE this! So true. It is neat to look back on things & see how far we have come in life! Those experiences def shape who we are today!

Simone said...

I love it when you write these kind of posts....you do have such great insight & you express yourself beautifully.

Like you, I believe that we should be positive about all the things that happen to us, we learn in some way from them all and they do make us the people we are today. The more challenging stuff makes us appreciate the really great stuff.

Love to you Tracy, great post Xx

Rebecca said...

so true love it! great post =]

Rod and Alex - aka: "Rolex" said...

Isn't it interesting how the way you reflect changes as you grow? And the meaning of a certain memory can mean something so different when reflected upon much later?
All of our memories and experiences shape us and only we can determine what shape we will become.

Love this insightful post! :)

Kelsey @ Seattle Smith's said...

Aren't mommas the best to help us talk it out!!! Love them for it.

Allison said...

I hope you're alright. I hate to hear you're dealing with a lot of frustrations. I love how you said it's how we deal with it. I think the control issue is what drives me nuts because I think that no matter what I do, it doesn't matter. I had a BREAKDOWN this past weekend about it and had little support. You're such a lovely person. Thank you for your beautiful post.

Ana F. said...

That's a great post, Tracy. If we all haven't had bad experiences, we wouldn't be able to appreciate the other good things in life. I believe everything happens for a reason. Maybe things you wanted to happen will not come true so better things can take place in your life :)

Katherine Krieg said...

love this post. very, very insightful and well written. an inspiration!!

Carolyn said...

I love this post so much! Seriously! Love! :) So inspiring!

Perfectly Imperfect said...

so very, very true. and very well said.

Katie-K said...

Very insightful. And a great outlook to have- I'm sure things will start looking up!

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

Sometimes it's good to look back and see how far you've gone!

Shannon Elise said...

Wonderful reminder Trace! Just want you to know how much I <3 you and respect you. Xo