nesting dolls.

We’re all walking around like nesting dolls, holding the older versions of ourselves inside us. Some we hold fondly: our bravest moments and our eighth grade angst and our fearful dreams. Some we hate: the times when we were less than our best-- rude or selfish or shortsighted.
But regardless.

We hold each car we drove and each person we dated and each song that was “so us” for that season inside of us like little bright bubbles.

Our seasons are never what we think they’ll be, must like New Year’s Eve always feels like a sort-of let down. It’s not until that year’s end, that (often) we are able to love the beginning.

Maybe it’s the holidays or maybe it’s the Hattie (probably a little of both), but I’m feeling sentimental about myself lately. And I know that seems silly and probably a little self-absorbed to say, but it’s a real feeling.

There is a feeling after winter, while running, that your skin feels like it’s meeting the sun for the first time. Usually in March -- I can’t truly explain -- but the air is warm and the sun is bright -- it hits your skin (in shorts for maybe the first time) and you feel exposed, fresh, raw. You drink it in like an old friend.

That is what life feels like right now-- a re-awakening of myself. A re-appreciation of the ability to be an individual-- which sounds so simple-- but I had stopped appreciating it. Maybe I never knew I was supposed to.

I want to always feel a skin-tingling joy about who I am. Because I’ll change. And grow. Like the seasons. Or with them. But it is truly an honor to able to “be”. To be yourself. To be weak growing strong. To be growing patient. To be growing kind. To be growing into something better, but not forgetting the beauty about each road you’ve walked.

And so we’ll keep stacking, those nesting dolls of experiences and personality changes and life stages, piling on to make up a story that only you can hold.

It’s just how life goes. It’s not magic.  But it sure would be better to look at it like the latter.