I spent the majority of my afternoon cleaning out my garage today.
And what started out as a garage-cleaning chore, turned into so much more.
I went through boxes in the far-reaching corners of my garage.
Filled with items from far-reaching places in my life.
I perused through old letters from family members, old friends and past boyfriends.
I daydreamed of old times, each time I found an old, saved keepsake at the bottom of a box.
And I learned a lot about myself.
You see, I went away for college.
Which was a really big deal for me because I am a homebody by nature.
I went to college in Montana.
I loved it.
But it was far from home.
And I missed my family.
What I learned while I read old letters and looking at old keepsakes, was ... I WAS LOVED!
I have a TON of old letters from my parents.
They wrote me often.
And I kept them all.
I had wonderful friends.
One card I found was from my good friend Jamie. Apparently (from what I can gather from her card) is that my parents wrote me a letter, but it got lost in the mail.
Since I was homesick, I imagine this upset me.
But Jamie bought me a card, and wrote:
I'm sorry your mom and dad's card got lost in the mail. I know this could never replace your lost one, but I took the liberty of buying this for you. We love you very much! Love, Mom, Dad, and Danny
And she signed THEIR names.
Really. Really sweet.
Today, it made me well up with tears.
I was so loved.
I found beautiful letters from my parents, telling me how proud they were. My dreams, my morals, my accomplishments and decisions.
And today, it made me cry all over again.
Because I live my life, thinking about how proud I am of my parents.
In one letter, my dad wrote:
I just got off the phone with you. I loved hearing your voice. I really value our conversations on Sunday nights. Mom and I are so proud of you honey. My buttons are popping off my shirt because I am so proud. I miss you, and can't for you to come home again. I love you Liser Locks. Love, Dad
And I cried again. Imagining him writing that at his desk at work.
Missing his baby girl.
I never stopped to think about whether it was hard on them to have me gone.
In one of my mom's letters, she wrote:
Hi honey. I miss you. Danny misses you too. He said so the other day. We all miss you. We miss your personality and presence in the house. But we are so proud of you Lisa and all that you're accomplishing while your away. I can't wait to have you home again. Would you like to have a family dinner at our house when you come home? I know everyone wants to see you. I love you. Love, Mommy-Mary
They missed me.
Just as much as I missed them.
I also learned that I was wise beyond my years.
I found old poems. Old letters. Old pictures.
I found a list of 100 things that make me happy.
I wrote it when I was 19 years old.
And I was touched by the things I wrote.
Things not typically important to a 19 year old girl in college.
I found poems that I had read, and wrote on notebook paper so I'd be able to remember them.
Again, not poems typically enjoyed by 19 year old girls.
Here is one:
The Eagle and The WolfThere is agreat battle that ragesinside me.One side is the soaring eagle.Everything the eagle stands for isgood and true and beautiful, andit soars above the clouds. Eventhough it dips down into the valleys,it lays it's eggs on the mountaintops.The other side of me is the howlingwolf. And that raging, howling wolfrepresents the worst that's in me.He eats upon my downfalls andjustifies himself by his presencein the pack.
Who wins this great battle?The one I feed.
You see, I think it's human nature to be hard on ourselves.
And though I've come a long way ... I still find I pick myself apart.
My hair, my weight, my clothes, my ...
But what I learned today, was I LOVE the girl I was in college.
And I guess when I think about it ...
... a lot like I am today.