I ran across THE BOX the other day while I was re-organizing. THE BOX is my grandmother’s old sewing basket filled with mementos that I tend to forget that I have.  It seems like every couple of years I discover it again. Being the huge sap that I am, I couldn’t resist emptying its contents.

Note: If you don’t keep A BOX then I recommend that you start one. It is a phenomenal reminder of your life journey and how far you have come.  It can reaffirm you, refocus you and, well, just make you laugh.

I found the most hilarious keepsakes in my box: my old field hockey mouth guard (ewww!), my college ID (worst.haircut.ever.), old prom and wedding napkins, the kids first teeth (double ewww), a pay stub from the New York Times, old press credentials from the Country Music Association (CMA) Awards, concert tickets, magazine articles and my old journal.

Ahem…MY OLD JOURNAL. From 1994. Which was sealed.  (The operative word here is WAS.  Of course, I opened it. ) First thing that greeted me upon opening it up was this quote:  “It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are.” -E.E. Cummings  (Wow. It seems like I was a quote girl even back then.)

Most of the journal contains tales of my life in college complete with me pining over my weight (some things never change) and trails and tribulations with the boyfriend who ended up compulsively cheating on me. (Five wasted years. Don’t get me started, it is kind of embarrassing.)

But there were some really interesting entries as well.  Like this gem:  “I hold a great contempt inside of me towards accepted middle class life. The house, the children, the job, etc… I am terrified of ending up like that. I struggle hard to fight against it.  I just want to get out of this town.  Out of this middle-class trap.”

HOW FUNNY IS THAT?

So here is the thing –  I’m living the life that I apparently detested as a young woman.  And wonder of all wonders, I am perfectly happy and content. Oh sure, I still want to see Europe. I still want to visit the Great Pyramids and live in Italy for a Summer.  But I am truly a happy woman.

It is amazing how your life can come full circle, isn’t it?

Most of the journal, I admit, is pages and pages of me feeling insecure, unsure and self-conscious.  Boy, the ME that WAS, really needed to find her moxie.  Of that I am certain.

I threw the journal in the trash, by the way.  I don’t need to keep it anymore.  It was too painful a reminder of that time in my life.  I’ll feel better not revisiting that place again.

I like who I am now.