This afternoon I was cleaning out the basement and came upon an old box. Now I think everyone has one of these in their basement; the box holding your old ribbons, trophies, maybe a teddy bear that at one point you couldn’t live without. I found my old rugby shorts and boxing gloves. Movie stubs, notes my best friend and I would pass each other in class, and Spice Girl posters (girl power forever)! Then at the bottom of this box was an old shoe box, and inside were the pictures of my youth. Back before selfies on phones, and digital cameras, these were from back in the day when you would take your pictures, go to get them developed, and hope there was one where your eyes were open.
Looking at these pictures I found the ghost of my previous life, someone who was spontaneous, crazy, and wrinkle free. I would spend hours in front of a mirror applying blue eye shadow and crimping my hair. Memorizing the address and birthday on my fake ID incase I got questioned getting into the bar. Those days are long gone now and just thinking of a night club makes me tired.
My mommy uniform requires a lot less makeup, and showering is optional. My dresses are longer, the necklines are higher, and I don’t really remember what earrings are for. Before heading out the door sometimes I glance at the fancy heels that would kill my feet but were o so adorable, then I grab my worn in Toms that are falling apart and discoloured but I could walk for miles in. The old me was shinier, and I’m sure smelled way better, but that ghost no longer haunts me. I’ve traded in my curling iron for hair elastics, and eyeshadow for night cream (always take care of your skin ladies).
Sometimes I look at those old pictures in that old shoebox and think of ‘the good old days’, but what about these good days? I get slobbery kisses hourly from a tiny human who thinks I’m Supermom, and I’ve traded out my ‘wing women’ for a true partner in crime who helps me keep my sanity with warm tea and a shoulder to lean on. Tequila shots are now glasses of wine (not boxed, but the good stuff), and dawn is a time to wake up, not go to bed. The old me might think I’m boring now, but the new me really doesn’t care what she thinks.
Now I’m going to tuck those pictures back into that old shoe box and go get my daughter from her nap, because its no longer all about me. It’s about that tiny little human who needs cuddles and story time, and who doesn’t care that my hair isn’t combed and I have no lipstick on. Because the ghost of me is just that, someone who is no longer here but a memory that reminds me of how lucky I am today.