I spent the last few weeks in Calgary, Alberta. It is where I grew up and where my parents still reside. Both my brother and I have ventured beyond the Alberta boarder but yet we still call our folks home, home. As of late my trips to Calgary have been short, busy, yet sweet. This time it was different. It was an extended trip, busy, and provoked critical decision making for me. I recognized a lot of things, reflected on much more, and felt a different connection with Calgary – one I am not sure I have words for at the moment.
I often did not get home before midnight. There were many reasons for this but the last week was largely because I was helping a friend prepare for her wedding. It was a special moment to see her wed the person she has come to love so dearly and now all I can do is sit back and hope for their happiness and health for the years to come. But that was a mini tangent. I got home late. Usually my parents are concerned about the timing of my arrival and curious about my schedule. It was different this time. I did my own thing, connected with my parents to ensure I could help them to the best of my ability, and then continued to create my own schedule. It was the perfect short-term living arrangement in my opinion.
There was a night that I got home close to 1:00am. I was wired on energy from who knows where and had an urge to rummage through some old stuff of mine. I was spread out in the basement, what has become my brothers bedroom and space. In the basement I occupy a closet that houses everything from boardgames, old photo albums, some clothing, a beautiful wool blanket that I never sold during my short lived wool selling adventures, old hats that I collected over the years, and so forth. I decided to go through a couple of photo albums and found a few pictures I am fond of. Two pictures that I have paid little attention to in the past also caught my attention.
I could not help but stop and think about how wonderful things were, especially as a child. It is hard to come by a picture where I looked sad, confused, irritated, or even uninterested. Now, as I age, I find myself hiding from pictures and really only taking them when strongly requested by others.
Wait, perhaps that is a bit of a stretch. I have been attempting to move from a state of health to healthy and have every so often taken progress pictures of my physical fitness journey. These pictures are not shared and will likely not become public, at least not yet.
Wandering through the pictures did spark lots of thought though. I started to wonder what happened in my life in particular, but also life in general, that causes one to hide behind the camera versus being proudly featured in front of a camera? I do not look significantly different then I did in these pictures. I have gained a significant amount of weight, grown a fair bit, and my hair is significantly longer and curlier but the structure of my face is the same and for the most part I think my smile is the same. So why now, at the young age of twenty-eight, am I shy to take pictures?
I then started to think about twenty-eight years from now when I will want to look back on this period of time. I will have this blog, my journals, and a few pictures from here and there, mostly of scenery from the places I visit, but will I regret not having pictures of me to reflect on? Will my time travel have black holes?
Tonight, I have few answers to the above questions. I continue to reflect on the memories of my childhood, youth, and young adult life. There have definitely been both positive and negative experiences. Each of these experiences have shaped the way I see the world today, the way I interact with others, and have also framed what I would define as a healthy life. It is these reflections that I believe allowed me to see beyond the funk that I have found myself in and have encouraged me to find that happy inner child that still resides in me.