I recently opened a box mailed to me from my mother back home in Hawaii. It’s been sitting in mom’s garage since the late 1980s. I was more than a little nervous thinking about what was inside. I had an idea of the random things I tossed in there – mementos, memories I wanted to leave behind but weren’t ready to exonerate.

Once I finally made the decision to leave the Waikiki stripping life after nine years, moving off the island wasn’t just part of my plan, it was my only plan. At 28, I was an exhausted hot mess with dark circles under her eyes, over processed burgundy colored hair and serious issues that no 20-something ever thinks of as real problems at the time.

Some of my predicaments included rolled-up dollar bills up my nose, a 300 calorie-a-day meal plan (on purpose) and a deep, hovering cloud of dispair which followed me like Pig-Pen in Charlie Brown. And those were the good days.

Honestly, I hadn’t given this carboard crate of personal history much thought as the years passed. Then Mom called. She was planning a garage sale and my stomach turned a bit, remembering what was stashed behind the lawn mower and poting  tools. and and offered to throw my memories out or mail them to me. I was more than afraid

“Just promise me you won’t open it.” I begged.  Knows my wild days are long behind me, but I didn’t want to be responsible for her shock attack stumbling on an old journal (those are blogs – before blogs were blogs and Bill Gates worked his magic).

This box has not been opened in over 20 years. I am having a fantastic time reading, scanning and simply…remembering.

If you have any personal items from years ago tucked away in the garage or attic, I highly recommend dusting them off and riding your own personal time machine.

I found this hand-written poem I wrote at 19 years old. I was kicking off a month long back-packing trip through Europe. Before meeting with my boyfriend in Newquay, Cornwall, I hung out by myself in London enjoying the beer and people-watching at Horniman At Hays.


Although less than a year working as a stripper, I knew I wanted to write about the experiences I was only beginning to live.


I struggled to find the words, and as a result wrote this poem:

Never think
Before paper meets ink
Just let it go
Don’t have to know
at the beginning
and all will come out beautifully

Christine Macdonald – 19 yrs old (1987)

~ ~ ~


Sometimes the simplest answers live inside the person you were long ago; you just need to accept who you are now to appreciate who you were then.


“If you don’t get lost, there’s a chance you may never be found.” ~Author Unknown



  1. What a great post. I have a box that I keep papers and lil things from years ago. I like going through it cuz it shows how me how much I've changed. I like your poem…I like starting at the beginning. Profound quote too, I think I'm going to write that one down. thanks!


  2. This made me just well up. Beautiful and so succinct. I needed to hear that today. I'm about to jump off a cliff, (not literally) and submit the novel I've completed to agents. Good inspirational words.


  3. Beautiful post ! I've been going through my old stuff, and it's amazing to see my thoughts back then and how far I've come since then.I also miss the carefree attitude I had back then.


  4. Fantastic quotes!! And all true!! My brother recently found my air force dog tags… I thought they were long lost… brought back tons of memories…Beautiful story you write…~shoes~


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