The older I get, the more I get to know this peculiar friend of mine. This friend has the ability to always be present. Yet, some days she is quiet and hidden. Other days she is loud, persistent, and impossible to miss.
This week I have seen a lot of this friend. She continues to grab me by the hand as we journey through what has been.
As I walk back into my room at home this friend greets me at the door. She welcomes me in to a place that knows me so well. She brings me face to face with the pictures on the wall and reminds me that one day those pictures were everything to me. She opens up my box of letters and together we read the words that once meant everything to me, and still mean a great deal to me— though, the meaning feels different. She grabs my old scrapbooks and reminds me of the stories that lie behind every page that I see.
This friend is gentle in the process of bringing me in to remembrance, but sometimes she’s too strong.
The next day this friend greets me as soon as I wake and embark on a quiet day. She leads me back to the place where I escaped as a kid. She allows me to see myself at ages 7, 10, 13, 14, 18, and most recently, age 20. I am faced with seeing these different versions of myself that I tend to forget about. I am reminded of my child-like curiosity. I am reminded of the tears I cried. I am reminded of the young love I lived. I am reminded of the dreams I dreamt. I am reminded of the friends that have come and gone and then the ones the continue to return. I am reminded that this little girl I knew is still alive within me. I am reminded that though there seems to be many versions of me, there really is only one me— just many layers that create that me.
And now, today, this friend greets me as I sit and write and reflect. She is sitting across from me, reminding me that I am not the same girl that used to sit where I am sitting. I am me, but I am ever growing. I have been broken since the last time I sat here. And I have been healed.
New tears have been shed.
New life has been lived.
And newness is always ahead.
But, the past is not dead. It also is alive and present within me and some days it demands to be seen. This friend helps me see the past that lives in order to better help me life a better present.
Sometimes I really have a hard time with this friend of mine. But days like today, I am welcoming her in with new open arms. Her presence is teaching me.
Thank you Nostalgia for showing up time and time again. Thank for you reminding me that I am me and I am free to move beyond what once was. Thank you for allowing me to feel, but never allowing me to just sit in it all.
You are a strange, beautiful, and loyal friend.