A friend of mine posted a blog post on significant memories, and it seemed like such an intriguing idea that I thought I’d do the same. Memories have always meant a lot to me (as I’m sure they do to most people), but the topic of memories because even more important to me after my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a few years ago. Knowing that, eventually, his memories will fade and his concept of reality will be in flux is hard for me to imagine and accept. It makes me even more aware of the need to document my life, in photos and words. That way, should I ever be faced with something similar, I have a piece of my life to look back at.
I can think of several significant memories, so it’s hard to really pare them down Some of my strongest memories are from very defining moments in my life. I remember the day I found out I was adopted, while sitting on the kitchen floor watching my mom iron shirts. I remember receiving my acceptance to college in the mail, and running over to tell my best friend.
But, I would say my most significant memories are snapshots of important events in my life. One major one was my first trip abroad, on an archaeology dig after my Freshman year of undergrad. We spent 15 days in the Dominican Republic, digging in the mornings, working through our finds in the afternoon, then living it up in the evenings. I made some very lifelong friendships during that time, that I’ll always keep close to my heart. In fact, one of my friends who I met on the dig is currently living in France, while another lives north of me. When the friend living in France comes home to visit family, we’re all three going to meet up (it’s the two ladies with me on the boat, in the photo to the left)! It will have been over ten years since we were all together! I’m so excited to see these ladies, as they are phenomenal women and great friends! That was my first real experience with travel, and from that moment on I was hooked. That trip really opened up a lot of amazing doors for me, and I’ve been forever grateful for my friends who pushed me into taking that step to go (even though I was terrified).
Another significant memory was the day J proposed. He took me to one of the gardens that was owned by a local, very wealthy, family in town. It’s in the middle of downtown, and walled off by brick walls all around the perimeter (it’s very “The Secret Garden” like). He proposed in the garden there, while we were walking around photographing the flowers, and later we even came back to have our engagement photos taken there. We’d only known each other a little over four months, but I already knew he was the one for me. Eight years later, and I’ve never looked back. He is my other half, and no one else on earth pushes me to be a better person and to be more ME than he does. He’s amazing, and I thank God for him, daily.
A third memory that really sits in my mind is my graduation from law school. It was a long four years to finish my law degree and master’s program. I hated it at the time, but looking back on the amount of work I put in and the time I spent to finish, I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished. This was also when I first started dealing with my depression and anxiety, so knowing that I overcame that while working so hard on the degrees makes me feel like I grew and learned so much during that time. Not just academically, but personally. I grew into an adult who was self-confident and capable of meeting challenges head-on. That knowledge has helped me more than anything in my career and personal life.
Finally, my last significant memory (that I’ll post about, at least) is the day I was baptized and converted to Catholicism. It was such a sense of homecoming and peace, and for the first time in a long time, I felt that I was exactly where I needed to be from a spiritual perspective. I spent several years as a member of my parents’ church, and I never had a feeling of happiness or energy while worshiping there. I left that church during high school, and never really looked back. It wasn’t until I met my good friend, T, in the Netherlands, that I started really searching again for answers in religion. She introduced me to Catholicism from a personal perspective, and over the years I’ve been drawn closer and closer to the faith. Sadly, I don’t have a photo of myself during the time of my baptism and confirmation (there was SO much going on), but I do have a photo of our chapel and the gorgeous stained glass works that decorate the area. Sometimes, during mass, I feel drawn to those stunning windows, and immediately feel peaceful and happy, regardless of what is going on in life. I only hope that my faith continues to sustain me, especially as my father’s health fails. Undoubtedly, I’ll face many more obstacles in life, and hopefully I’ll find solace and hope within the community that I’ve discovered.
So, there you have it, some significant memories of my life! I really enjoyed writing this post and sharing with you all some of my experiences, and if you have any questions (or want to know anything about me I haven’t covered), please feel free to ask!