In the far reaches of my closet, lives an orange suitcase. It’s a thrift store find from the 70’s. I don’t remember when I got it. I was young. I’ve used it to store my keepsakes and secrets. The trinkets that children and adolescence believe will be of some emotional value to them one day. “One day I will be happy I kept this”. But why did I keep these journals. Did I think I would be happy to have them? Did I believe that I would ever want my children or grandchildren to ever look upon there pages. There is nothing scrawled on that ageing paper, that I would want them to know. Most of those tales are things I’d sooner forget. Lists of wishes. Dreams of a better life. Pages and pages of whining and complaining, and waiting. So many why’s. So much wanting to grow up, and be free.
I am grown up. (Some days it doesn’t feel like it. Last week my best friend and I virtual highfived via text because I had a spinach smoothie and she ate a salad!) I am free! I can do whatever I want, whenever I want to. I don’t have to stay in bad situations. I don’t have to wish for someone to save me or be disappointed when they don’t. I saved me. I found the people (my people) to love and to love me. I can rely on myself. Not to say I don’t need people, because I do, but I get to chose them. I am finally me.
And so I will be chucking these journals. These stones around my neck. They are filled with burdens I was never meant to carry. I will start fresh. Fill these new pages with love, and joy, and adventure. With an inner light that I am letting out into the world. The journey I am taking to learn happiness, and share it with my family.
If my grand-daughter one day stumbles upon this journal like a scene in a movie. Tucked away in a chest in the attic. Light filtering through the dust. I want her to find someone who believed that life was good. That her grandmother was strong, and wise, and never gave up.
That love is all you need. And that it starts with you.