Forgotten Moments Found in a Tupperware Bin

I remember when I started writing. It was freshman year of HS. The same age my oldest daughter is now. I had a brand new, cute as all get out, floral journal that my mother gave me. I had big plans for those blank pages. It was time for change.  I’d to find myself in that journal. I was ready for something new and my pen was going to guide me there.
I had every intention of filling those pages with the exciting, glamorous new life I was about to embark on in a the fancy and fabulous halls of public HS. I was coming from a small Catholic school. Pre-k through 8th grade with the same kids, year after childhood year. I couldn’t wait to get out and spread my-sick of the plaid uniform- wings. I was ready. I couldn’t wait to hang with the publics (this is totally what I called any and all kids that were not in my small over protected bubble of St. Barnabas). I had plans of shedding my good girl vibe and taking on any and all things cooler. I mean I was clearly ready for cool…… I signed that first journal journal with my confirmation name included, Rebecca Ann Rose Reardon. That is some holy hotness right there.

It took about 7 mins for me to pick up on all the designer clothes I had never heard of, nor would my parents ever be buying me, and a couple of senior class “men” with deep voices and what looked like beards, to walk by my locker and I wanted to haul my uniform craving, goody two shoes ass back to the nuns. I was terrified.

 

So I wrote about it.

 

I wrote a lot. It became a nightly ritual. During the day, in those scary loud halls, I held my breath and stayed oh so quiet. Then at home in my room I took out those floral fabric covered blank pages and I exhaled. I found a way to be myself. Or at least I let out some things I didn’t feel I could amid the deep voiced bearded upper class-men.

 

I continued to write in that journal throughout my awkward freshman year and didn’t stop when I got to the end. There were more floral  books of truth to follow. Floral fabrics, angels (I had such a thing for cherubs. I got one on my hip from my 18th birthday to commemorate this love of celestial beings…but that’s another story) to half used and ripped spiral notebooks. It stopped mattering what it looked like on the outside, I just needed a place to pour myself out. I wrote religiously from the age of 14 until I graduated college. I saved each and every one. These books were filled with my guts. I knew enough to know that some of those gut stained pages contained information that even I, the gut spiller, may have needed but was not ready to hear. My own truth felt like TMI. It was enough to write it down.

 

Yet I refused to do the burning thing. I wasn’t able to let go of all they remembered for me.  I moved this tupperware bin of memories around for years. Every once in awhile I would consider opening them up but never really cared to take the plunge into my own history.

 

Until one random day about 3 years ago…..

 

There was absolutely no sign that this was going to go down. I hadn’t been wondering about them. I hadn’t been planning it. They weren’t really even on my radar.  It was just an out of the blue afternoon when I was hanging something up in my closet and saw the bin up there on the shelf. It was a clear bin and I could see the array of floral fabric binds. I kind of shrugged my shoulders and thought, “What the hell?”. I was alone. Kids were at school. I just wanted to see that first book. That freshman year one. My oldest was slowly but surely creeping up on that age and time of her life, maybe I would want to share this journal with her. Maybe I could pass down some solid wisdom from those pages of honesty.

 

What began as a moment of curiosity turned into a full on devouring of forgotten moments. I sat on the floor of my closet soaking up freshman and sophomore year not noticing the clock kept moving. Before I knew it, my girls were standing at the closet door wondering what the hell I was doing on the floor with wide eyes surrounded by a sea of floral fabric.

 

The next few days were spent reading every free second I came upon. I couldn’t get enough down. I didn’t come up for air. I had to read and re-read. Breathe and swallow and swallow and breath……..all that I had forgotten. How did I not remember? Was this a “too big” reaction? maybe. But it became quite clear, quite quickly…. I was entitled to some big freaking feelings. These journals triggered the ever living shit out of me. Talk about being spooned some truth into a big bowl of denial. Damn.

 

How would this new, but old, information and parts of MY story fit into who I am today? Me the mom, the wife, the friend, the empowered woman who wants to empower other women?!
And HOW in God’s name did I ever think I would be able to share this with my kid?
Something was set in motion that random afternoon. Those cute little books turned my life upside down. Turns out saving them, moving the tupperware bin year after year and home after home, allowed them to fulfill the intention I had set so many years ago.
“I was going to find myself on these pages. I was ready for something new and my pen was going to guide me there.”

Life is so weird.

first journal

 

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