I’m decluttering stuff from my childhood, and I come across my high school yearbook—senior year.
The yearbook-making class was taught by my English teacher, who supported my writing and art and encouraged me to take the class. But back then, I was 100% bookish nerd (not that things have changed much) and I refused to sign up, believing that learning InDesign, Photoshop, and book production sounded way too “fun” and would neither impress college admissions committees nor prepare me properly for the rigors of academia. (Of course, the irony is that after a detour in academia, I’m now a graphic designer.)
Unable to convince me to give the class a try, my teacher invited me to write an introductory piece for the yearbook. The theme of the book was “open.”
Revisiting this piece today threw me off my rhythm of decluttering. Thinking back, I realize that I didn’t really know back then what taking a leap really meant, or forgiving permanent damages, or anything that really entails being “open.” But I was teetering on the edge of my first big leap—going from sleepy rural town to vibrant university in a big city. And I could imagine what it meant.
So I was surprised today when I read this piece from me—younger me. I felt as though my younger self imagined something about being open that I’ve lost sight of, and that she was speaking to me from the past to say something I need to consider right now.
And, I reflected, maybe it’s something that you’d like to consider too, as we head into a new year. Here’s what I wrote:
If you’ve ever watched a momma bird feeding her babies, you’ll know what I’m talking about — the nest full of craning little necks, each trying to be higher than the other, reaching, reaching…and the pointy little beaks, each leading to a dark little tunnel from which dry little cheerps escape…and the closed little eyes, still covered with a thin, translucent layer of blue-grayish skin. The momma bird zooms back and forth from ground to nest, seemingly tireless, collecting whatever bugs and worms she can bring to feed her hungry children. She never has to search long, because they aren’t picky—anything would be delicious. Worms, beetles, snails—it’s all good.
Maybe it’s time to take a lesson from the young. Maybe it’s time to closer your eyes and open your hands. Tell—no, SCREAM to the world that you want something—anything new, anything fresh, anything! Blindly believe that it will come, and that it will be good. And don’t be surprised when it is.