A few years ago, when my Dad passed away, and my mom was clearing out some old stuff, she chanced upon a bundle of letters that I had written to my parents, when I was in my twenties and working in London.
She had preserved them carefully, organized by date; each letter safely tucked in its original envelope. The envelopes had frayed edges, where my parents would have opened or torn them to get to my letters.
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A few days later, when I visited my mom, she asked me if I wanted to keep the letters, because they were filled with my everyday observations of London (one of my favourite cities), to my dreams and aspirations, and lots of photos and humourous observations. Of course, every letter was an outpouring of love to my parents, my aunt, my sisters and to my adorable niece, who was 2 months old then.
I took the letters with me, and sat down to read them. I must have had lots of time, especially in winter, for no letter was shorter than 14 pages!
Through those letters, I relived my life in its twenties. I could see that young woman, with so many dreams and aspirations, looking at her future and its immense possibilities.
I loved reliving London, with its tube stations, and the weather, and the long walks I often took. I remembered the scones and jacket potatoes. I remember how many books I read on my trips in the tube. I learnt so many, many things. I travelled, I walked and I read.
I fast forward to the now. How have I changed? Lots of things are still the same, but I have mellowed. I am a wife now, a mom now. My priorities are quite different.
Many of those dreams are still inside, waiting to be realized, maybe after the kids go to university.
Life was independence, fun, young and filled with lots of possibilities ‘then’.
Life is dependence, love, ageing and filled with dreams and possibilities for the family ‘now’.
Different phases, both beautiful. Wouldn’t trade either.