Memory Lane Is A Trip.

     I think we can all agree that the feeling of nostalgia is an intense twinge in your heart, far more powerful than memory alone. A certain smell, a melody or even a glimpse of a picture from your past can dig up even the deepest of caches. It really is quite remarkable how many emotions ensue after our recollections begin & more importantly- the things that trigger them.

     The other night when I was leaving my mother’s house, she asked me to meet her downstairs to pick up some of the bins from my childhood. She was elated to clear out the space in her storage, but I however, was not thrilled to take on the boxes of old trinkets. She reminded me that they were in fact my memories and she wasn’t going to be the one who decides which ones that I keep.

     As I started to dig through them, I slowly realized how important it is to retrace your steps as you move forward through life. That doesn’t mean that you need to stay in the past once you graze the memory. The importance lies within soaking up the pieces of ourselves that we have moved on from, in order to see how much we have grown.

     I found a letter to myself in one of the boxes from when I was 15 years young. It was an assignment that our high school required for every freshman and the intent was to receive it back when you graduated. As I started reading, I realized that I had never opened mine until that moment (Truly living up to my procrastination trademark). Although my teenage angst was utterly cringe-worthy, there were so many raw and delicate moments that I will now cherish forever. Between the sobbing into my sweatshirt and the laughter, I found myself calling my sisters to share with them what they had written to me over a decade ago. Amongst the letters, there were photos dating back to 1991- the year I was born (or as my father would tell you, the year that the Twins won the World Series.) As I scavenged through them, I found this one:

     The funny thing is, we were all laughing this hard as we went over the memories, in the same way that we did once in a land called childhood.  I think we are all guilty of trying to prep and reach for what lies ahead of us- when some of the best (& worst) times are back in our storyline. I would encourage everyone to go under the steps, in the cupboard or attic- wherever the forgotten photo albums and family videos have gone to create dust. You won’t be disappointed in the least bit & maybe you will find some details about yourself that you have misplaced while working towards your best adult self. We all had to start somewhere—so what better way to connect the lines for what made you who you are this very moment.

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Written By: Hayley Sutherland

Posted on November 30, 2017 .

Another Year to Be Thankful.

     We all know that birthdays come around once a year. It doesn’t matter if you’re the type of person who lets everyone in your path know its your special day, or if you pretend the next one doesn’t exist in an attempt to skip the aging process. Even if you have ever felt like Molly Ringwald in Sixteen Candles when everyone forgets.

    Now my inspiration for this may be a little biased seeing as I just had mine yesterday, but there was a brief moment that was urging me to capture the thought into writing. I was finishing up my traditional birthday dinner when the very busy but effortlessly pleasant waiter, plopped down crème brulee in front of me. As I stared down at the treat, I jokingly looked up at the people around me and said, “Hmm guys, what should I wish for?” The second the words crossed my lips I realized how silly it was because I already had everything I needed right there in that moment. Although I was born with approximately 32 sweet teeth, I’m not referring to the crisply tart dessert sitting there with a burning candle on it. It was my mom, my niece, my sister and brother in law, and my boyfriend. Alongside those amazing humans in my life were the less physical joys that I remembered needed to be cherished as well. I had my health, supportive figures, a bit of money in my bank account, a car that runs, the ability to think and move freely without any restrictions. The list could run on like a rhino on rollerblades.

    It’s in the moments of greed (c’mon, we all have them) and endless amounts of material products shoved down our gullets on an hourly basis that we forget to appreciate the fact we even get to have another birthday-- another day to cherish the fact that we are lucky enough to be on this earth. I read a quote yesterday that was something along the lines of, “Even when you have a bad day, you get to try again tomorrow.” Now I didn’t read this in a book somewhere, I read it on a framed picture on the wall of a family friend. It was one of the many insightful and inspiring quotes from a man who passed away from cancer way too soon in life. He was a brother, a son, an uncle and a partner—who was thrown SO many hardships in his time here but was consistently able to be positive for others with his encouraging words and his genuinely lovely spirit. As I sat there in their house on my day of birth, I couldn’t help but think how many times I hear people complain about turning forty or fifty, and how badly this man would have wanted to experience just one more with his family and friends.

     Although this was an emotional way to come to the realization I had last night, I felt that it would be an important one to share.  So the next time a grey hair pops up or the calendar inches closer to another year of age, appreciate the fact you are here and well and celebrate those laugh lines.

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Written By: Hayley Sutherland

Posted on September 28, 2017 .