When I think about where I’m at in life – whether it be physical, mental, or social, I tend to think about how much I’ve changed or how much progress I’ve made.
When I left the island in 2003, I was excited to start over, to come into my own. I had gone through my childhood being the daughter my mother wanted – the achievement-oriented straight A-student, and well-rounded young woman. I struggled with priorities in high school, as a part of me was truly sick, [I had a Spinal Fusion with Instrumentation in Grade 10], and the other part of me wanted to be the rebellious high school student – partying, sneaking out, and being a “bad daughter.” Other than a few incidents ;) in Grade 12, I was that good girl for all of my island life.
I learned a lot during my first two years in Calgary. I lived with my aunt and uncle, bless their souls for having to put up with me. The big difference from home? Accessibility and the unknown (yes, everyone doesn’t always know your business – well unless, you blog… ha ha). I now had access to thousands of people, swimming pools, movie theatres, shopping malls, and – a nightlife. I’m positive that big city living immersed me in bad daughter shock. I eventually came around… likely when I learned it wasn’t all going away. :)
It’s hard for me to believe that I’ve been living in Calgary for 7 years. I love my visits back to the island… 1) because I know it won’t be a permanent move, and 2) because I truly appreciate where I have come from. Oh yes, and seeing the fam is good too!
Today my mom was cleaning out her closet and I went to see what loot I could claim. She started pulling out a lot of the past – baby books, photo albums, art books, childhood jewelery, baptism outfits, coin sets, and the list goes on. We were in hysterical laughter over some of it – especially anything from circa 1970’s. As a 26 year old, it’s truly funny to see how much life has changed. A bit of a reality check if I do say so myself.
A few pieces that made me laugh:
1) “In school I like to go to computers.” I have no idea what grade this was front, but early elementary years likely. I was ALWAYS a very academic child – gym and art weren’t my thing.
2) A lovely placemat for my mom from Kindergarten – 1990. Some things haven’t changed… still love hearts, rainbows, smily faces, stars, and girly colors – such as pink and purple.
3) A report card from December 1990. What most speaks to me is that I had “leadership skills” in Grade 1. Too funny.
My parents [thankfully] split up over a decade ago… but due to that, our “history” has been all over the place for years. Recently, my mom has had the opportunity to get it in one centralized place and she’s now going to piece the past together and make three ‘books’ – one for each of us girls. I am truly thankful that I have this “history” and will be able to visually see it for years to come.
Everything that I saw today reinforced the fact that I am my mother’s daughter – in every essence of those words – and I have not nearly changed as much as I thought I did. I’m proud to say that I’m strangely at peace with being this person. I have always been and will be: academic, achievement-oriented, confident, dedicated, devoted, independent, resourceful, results-driven, and thoughtful towards others. I am a writer, a leader, and a business-woman. I am me, the daughter my mom created and the woman that I will continue to contribute to. For all of that I am blessed.
Thank you Mom for teaching me the importance of generosity, dedication, and selflessness. Thank you for showing me how to be independent and for preparing me to to tackle this world.
My goal in coming home this week was to heal – in all aspects of my life. Although that hasn’t entirely happened, I have learned. Learned a ton about myself and a lot about some parts of life I’ve been procrastinating. Today I am thankful for clarity.
Muah… self-exploration is such a warm fuzzy. ❤