Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Happy me.

Dear Stacey...

That's how my 'letter's on life' each year start.

I use to be one of those people that would keep a journal. I would jot down quotes, funny things I heard, news about my life and the world around me. Once I had my kids, the journal entries were few and far between. It was a paradox.
The more I had to write, the more I couldn't.
My full life gave me no time to reflect on what was happening at the time.

My mother told me when I was young that she wrote herself a letter and then sealed it in an envelope to be opened five years later.
I remember thinking to myself that five years was an eternity.
I scoffed at the idea.
How would I even remember to look for it?! 

It was 1996 when I wrote my first one. I was 18.
I wrote about where I was in life and what I wanted to achieve.
The areas that were disappointing to me and the things I wanted to do differently.
I wrote about my family and each person in it.
The penmanship was practically a scribble.
I sealed the envelope and marked it...
I laughed at the thought of even coming across it again.
I mean I couldn't even find my other shoe most days.
(and I had taken them right off next to each other).
Please tell me that happens to some of you too?

Anyway, back to the subject...lo and behold five years to the date, I was unpacking boxes at my new apartment and there it was. I found it in the month and the year I was suppose to. I was amazed by that alone. I remember grabbing an ice cream sandwich out of the freezer as if to celebrate the occasion.
I stopped what I was doing, cuddled up on the couch and opened the letter. 

You know how a picture brings you back to a moment in time?
Reading my words, thoughts, ideas and memories was like visiting a long lost friend.
I knew 'her', but I didn't quite remember her until I saw her in black and white.
It was me at 23, seeing me at 18.
It was enlightening, fun, sad, heartwarming and special.

Ever since then, I have tried to write letters to myself to be opened every five years.
Like clock work, I find them five years later...exactly to the month and date.
Each time, I'm still surprised to find it.

The letters are written around my birthday or new year - those two times are the most
nostalgic for me and signify change.

I have maintained the tradition but I have spared myself (and maybe my children) from reading my handwriting after I wrote the first. I typed the ones there after.

The letters are never the same.
Life changes things.
People. My little 'world'. Even me.  
The one thing that has not changed in my letters each year is the part where
I'm thankful for the people in my life.
My family, friends and even acquaintances.
Your steadfast support, love, and humor are what I think about most when I think about change.
You have changed me and my world for the better. daughter was born on the 22nd ; ) 


I think the main thing about celebrating a birthday is to do it thoughtfully.
You know that saying, 'it's the thought that counts'?!
That's actually true.
I use to think it was the actions.

The unexpected card in the mail, the phone call from a friend who thought of you.
That's the happiness you can't wrap up.

I signed on to Facebook yesterday and while everyone gets a notification that it was my birthday, I was still overwhelmed by the people that actually took a minute to stop by my 'wall' and write a note. Each and every one of you put a smile on my face. Really. Each and every one of you. I saw family, friends, clients, past clients, new friends, and photography friends. It was amazing to see how my circle of friends has grown in the last year and I'm so very thankful for each of you. Every single one of you has added to my life...

I think this quote sums it all up:

"...For I am but a total of the many folks I've met, and you happen to be one of those
I prefer not to forget.
And whether I have known you for many years or few,  
 in some ways you have a part in shaping things I do."

Thank you for being a part of my life and for making my day special!

Thanks Adryanna for making my day extra special!

                                                       A family portrait, by Adryanna


Nichole said...

WOW, WOW, WOW, I continue to idolize the person you are! I wish I had words the way you do to express how much you make me want to "stop and smell the roses" live in the moment and capture each memory in the ways that you do. You are truely a blessed spirit, Stacey! I hope you had a wonderful birthday! No one deserves it more than you!

Pat Markowski said...

Happy Birthday Stacey!!!! I still check your blog every day!!! Love it!

Show and Tell Photography said...

Awww Pat, it's so nice to hear that you continue to read. That means the world! Thank you, thank you, thank you.'re my biggest fan. Thank you so much for always being so supportive on the blog. It's always so wonderful to see your comments : )

Jamie Hall said...

Happy Birthday Stacey! The letter every 5years is such an awesome idea! It truly captures the person you are!