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:
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.