I’ve taken a particular interest in walking down memory lane lately. Most of this comes from the fact that I truly believe you shouldn’t go forward in life without remembering where you came from and how that shapes who you are. Another huge chunk of this recent nostalgic state is a result of cleaning out my room and finding childhood relics in my basement.
Plenty of memories came flooding back to me when I found a precious collection of My Little Ponies. Waves of laughter sounded when I opened the pages of a pink paisley lock-and-key diary, with plenty of stick figure drawings and a final entry that read “Dear Diary, Tonight I’m going on a date. Bye!” But something really hit me when I opened a purple storage container full to the brim with dress-up paraphernalia. From every Disney princess costume and ballerina tutu imaginable to paper crowns and pairs of plastic shoes, it was all in front of me in blinding, brilliant color.
And that was when I proceeded to lift each piece gingerly from the box and relish in the sequins, sparkles, and tulle that I pranced around my living room in for so many years. When my imagination led me to be Tinkerbell, and when I donned a custom-made Cinderella dress for Halloween. When my friends and I dressed up as frilly, flowery ballerinas and spun around the carpet on tiptoe. When I wore wreaths of fake flowers in my hair while playing with Barbie and walked to the dinner table in my mother’s dresses and heels.
As I’ve “grown up” (and I use that term loosely), I’ve come to the realization that it’s not always beneficial to “live in the past.” But you shouldn’t just write it off and lock it away in a drawer or the dusty confines of your basement. You should pull your ballerina tutus from the cob-web ridden storage and throw them into the washing machine– freshen up the colors and shine up those carefully sewn on sequins. At the end of the day, they give you something to smile about, and you’ll realize that some of life’s little lessons are hidden between those carefully packed layers of tulle and satin.