I found something.
Not something that was lost, but something I once considered valuable. Treasured it enough to make sure I packed it among valuable keepsakes.
I now consider it a porthole to a time in my life where I was full of innocence, dreams, the freshness of youth.
My highschool graduation dreambook. You know of which books I speak, those glossy, plastic obnoxiously colored binders that contain pages entitled "in five years, I see myself" and "by ___age I will be married and have ___children".
When I laid eyes on this book, I almost laughed out loud with glee. Along with the potent smell of the plastic, rushed forth the smell of my high school, the feelings of being a senior and feeling like all the world is at your fingertips. Like a tidal wave, it cascaded over me, flooding me with emotions and memories. Out fell various cards, envelopes and photos from that year.
Where did I see myself in ten years? Finishing med school. (oh, yeah. I remember that dream)
I would be married by 25 and have 3 children. Well, so that didn't quite play out now did it? At least the married part. As for the children I was blessed more than I thought I would be.
Looking through the photos, I found one of the friend I have lost touch with and have been trying to locate for over a year now. She and I had a close friendship back then, planned to live near one another and let our children grow up together, but didn't protect the bond from distance and life choices that carried us far away from one another, little bits at a time, yet more rapidly than we realized and too fast to hold on.
I came across the picture of my first love. The man I was engaged to when I was but a mere 17, naive' and nothing but a child. He was in the Navy and I thought he was the best thing that ever happened to me. But once again, distance changed that, he went his way through the world, we tried to hang on while he was transferred here and there across the country, but it is hard to grow a relationship when you only see one another twice a year. So, that too, fell away.
I saw staring back at me the face of a friend who died two years after graduation. She sacrificed her mind, body, and spirit to those strong forces of evil and before her passing, became a stranger to me despite our decade of friendship.
Lost in the moment now, I plowed through the lists of favorite songs, movie stars, and other superficial, yet *very important* information. Seems strange now, to ask a graduate favorite color, food, place to hang out. But, now through the eyes of a 32 year old, it is for these moments. Moments where we, as adults, get a chance to read about the things we forgot about ourselves. The things that were important to us, and are important to our children...an opportunity to remember and possibly resurrect old dreams and passions.
Holding the tassel and reading the graduation announcement, I felt her. She swept past me, wrapped her arms around me, I could hear her laughter far off in the distance. She is still there, that girl. Her dreams may have evolved, her predictions may have altered, as life tends to have it's own plans and paths of destiny. I see her when i watch my daughters play. I hear her in their little voices, as they chatter and dream about, one day, being big girls.
Reluctantly, I packed my book away in its safe place, probably to remain there for another ten years. Maybe when my children are near the age I was when i wrote it, I will bring it back out and share it. Share the person I was before I was Mommy. Because she is worth getting to know too.