You Already Know

Memory Chest

By Kate Kole

Listen to your own voice, your own soul. Too many people listen to the noise of the world, instead of themselves. – Leon Brown

A few years ago, my mom created a memory chest for me. She filled it with high school yearbooks, significant newspaper clippings, cross country and soccer posters, report cards, and my favorite 101 Dalmatians hat that served as my primary wardrobe staple for the better part of early childhood. I have a slight suspicion that the chest came to be, in part, so I could have access to my most sentimental artifacts, and in (larger) part, so my parents could finally – and without guilt – say sayonara(!) to my shotty kindergarten “artwork”.

Either way, since she gifted it to me, the collection of treasured items has grown. I’ve tossed in one of our wedding invitations, pictures of my nephews, notes from my college roommate, and race medals. In fact, I’ve added so much to the box that as I went to recently close the lid, I realized it was past capacity.

Seeing as I’ve been on a bit of a decluttering kick lately, I decided it was finally time to sort through and organize my overflowing physical manifestation down memory lane.

I uncrumpled standardized test scores from 3rd grade and laughed as I noticed that my difficulty to comprehend math started so young. I smiled as I sifted through all the short stories I’d written and saved. And after sorting through the entirety of the box, I remarked to my mom that for all the times I’d come to her saying that I didn’t know what to do with my life, or which direction I should go, or who I even was – whoa drama – (there have been a lot of those times), all she’d really needed to do was point to the chest.

Because the thing is, I did know. Each of my passions, hobbies, and values was right there in front of me. The proof I needed was stacked in the pictures of me baking, expressed in the journals I’d kept, and printed across precious football ticket stubs I’d held onto. I just became so distracted, overwhelmed, and stressed out that I’d forgotten how to see them. I still get so distracted, overwhelmed, and stressed out that I forget how to see them.

I become the cliché girl in every Taylor Swift song, just trying to find a place in this world. Wandering for ways to become me. But then, as I designate the time (er, spend way more time than I originally intended) looking back at my life so far, I realize that I don’t need to search to discover my place.

My place is within me. It’s embedded in my relationships, my daydreams, my words, and my time well wasted. It’s in the way I feel when I roll out my yoga mat or put on a 90s-country playlist. It’s getting lost in the experience of making my grandma’s famous scotcheroos and diving into a deep conversation with my sister.

Maybe we don’t always need to head out or be more to find ourselves. Perhaps sometimes, we just need to tune in. To do as Leon Brown says and listen to our own voice, our own soul. To take a moment and realize that we’ve been here all along. That we’ve already arrived. And that moving forward is simply an expression of that.


{featured image via pexels}

2 thoughts on “You Already Know

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