Memory: The mental capacity or faculty of retaining and reviving facts, events, impressions, etc., or of recalling or recognizing previous experiences. The state or fact of being remembered. A mental impression retained.
"Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose". ~From the television show The Wonder Years
Have you ever just stopped to think back, to reach back into those archives, dig down deep and remember the things that are most important to you in life? For some reason I'm feeling awfully nostalgic tonight and I dipped back into the deep recesses of my brain and found some memories really worth holding on to, but how come there were some that I didn't have to reach for?How come there were some memories that were right on the surface and just appeared?Because those are the one's you hold close and the one's that you're never going to let go.
I think we get so caught up in everyday life and the hustle and bustle of our daily routine's that we hardly take a step back to look at how we got here to this point.Are we happy where we're at?Could we have taken a different path?Are we ready to take a leap into the future? Don't you just wish life could be like those Choose Your Own Adventure books?You can just decide how you're life is going to turn out just by the turn of a page?Sometimes I wonder if the memories that we create and the one's that we hold on to are the one's that mold who we are and shape us into what we are and what we're about to become.
I can remember at the age of 5 not being able to reach the kitchen counter to help my Dad cook so he would pull out a drawer for me so that I could stand in it and help him chop celery with a plastic knife (not a real one, because I'm sure they realized at an early age not to let Stacey handle sharp instruments) to make tuna salad.I can remember playing "kitchen" and serving my parents dinner with all fake food of course.A donut became a hamburger, and if you thought otherwise then you didn't get to eat!I remember being such a picky eater as a child and eating raw hot dogs dipped in ketchup and bologna.This couldn't possibly be the makings of a chef right?How do you prepare yourself for a life as a chef when hot dogs and bologna are your only staple?Was cutting that celery with a plastic knife inside a kitchen drawer the makings of a chef?Was it those experiences and those memories that molded me into who I am today?
I can remember wanting to be like my brother so bad as a kid.I helped pick up ground balls for him when he played baseball.I wanted my Barbie's to play with his G.I.Joe's and all of his wrestling action figures.I ran around without a shirt on and just shorts when it was swimming season because I wanted to be just like my brother.I even had a terrible mullet-style haircut (not one of my prouder moments) just like my brother too!And the icing on the cake was I even tried to pee standing up like my brother did, and obviously that one didn't work.Did growing up wanting to be a tomboy just like my brother mold me into the strong independent woman I am today?Did having that particular upbringing mold me into the soft, feminine, delicate female who doesn't take any crap from anyone now?Was it those kind of experiences that turned me into a cute, innocent woman but deep down inside a strong-willed, brave and courageous young lady?
I came to the conclusion at a young age after gymnastics, tap dance, and Girl Scouts that there was no hope for me in an atmosphere surrounded by snotty, little brat girls!So that's when I made the decision to take up martial arts just like my brother and Dad.I found that it was something that they were connected to with eachother and I kinda felt left out so that was my intention originally.As a child you don't want to be left out of anything and I always wanted to do everything my brother wanted to do.I was a terrible martial artist at first.I wouldn't listen, I was clumsy, and awkward.My brother was a natural so obviously that just pissed me off even more.I couldn't take criticism well from my Dad either because I saw him as Dad and not as Sensei.I was severely behind in class and there were all these guys in front of me who I was so envious of, because I was always at the end of the line or 3rd in line.It took so long for me to overcome those demons as a kid and persevere and realize that the criticism that I was getting was turning me into a stronger, more technical female.
It wasn't until my very 1st martial arts seminar with Sensei Cindy Hayashi that things really started to turn around.Being in a male-dominated atmosphere there were very few female "role models" or "mentors" to look up to.She took me under her wing immediately and from then on out I just soared in class.I became the 1st in line in class and gradually started to grow from there.If it wouldn't have been for her tutelage would I have ever gotten better?Who knows!If I wouldn't have given up all those girly activities, would I be the martial artist that I am today?Did those early on experiences turn me into the no nonsense hardcore martial artist that I am today?If it wouldn't have been for those experiences would I be the role model that I am today to young women?
So long story short I believe that we're all molded by the memories that we keep close by and the experiences that we have endured.I think if any of those paths in my life would've changed for a single instance I would not be where I am at today.It really puts things into perspective for you and makes you think that at any point among the journey of life that anything can change.I am blessed to have had such great memories and experiences that have impacted my life along the way.I hold on to those every single day!They mold me into the person that I have become and the person that I want to be.
If it weren't for some serious tutelage along the way I'm not too sure I would've survived in two very male-dominated atmosphere's.You have to have a thick skin and you have to want it bad enough.Perseverance is key and motivation to get you to the end result that you want. I continue to make memories everyday with people around me.You have all impacted my life in a positive or negative way and you have all touched me in one way or another.Each and every one of you has molded me somehow and some way.
Taking this trip down Memory Lane makes me think that I'm ready to start my own memories with someone else.I think the missing link in my life that I feel is someone to share those memories with.Sure I have my family and friends, who for the most part have been a part of those memories and experiences, but I'm ready to share them with someone I love and someone who I can start making my own memories with.That's the missing link!I want to be able to love someone as much as I love my family, my friends and my memories that I've created with all of them.I want that person to be able to feel my love, share in that love with me, and help me to create new memories together.I think that's the missing puzzle piece that I'm feeling.
In the movie Eat, Pray, Love Julia Roberts talks about wanting to go somewhere where she could marvel at something.I want to be able to wake up every day and be able to marvel at something.Hers was through an abundance of incredibly delicious food in Italy, meditation and spirtuality in India and eventually finding her own inner peace and love again in Bali.I want to be able to wake up and look outside my window and see the ocean.I want to be able to smell plumeria flowers and stick my feet in the sand.I want to wake up and feel 110% satisfied that what I'm going to do that day makes me happy, that the people that I associate with make me happy and that what I'm doing with my life at the end of the day makes me satisfied and happy.
I think I'm ready for that leap.I'm ready to make a blind leap of faith to do something for me. I'm ready for my future and I'm ready to share that with someone.I have no idea how this so-called "leap" might happen but I know when and if it does come my way I'm ready for it.I feel like I'm ready for the new chapter in my life.I have created such AMAZING memories with the previous chapters, but I'm kind of ready to write my own book now I think.I need to start filling those chapters with memories of my own and future memories that I'm ready to create with someone else.So hopefully that path and journey will become abundantly clear in the near future because I'm certainly ready for that bumpy ride!
Anyway, that was my long drawn-out take on where life is hopefully taking me.Feeling a bit nostalgic tonight!
Until next time...
<3 Stace <3
"Leftovers in their less visible form are called memories. Stored in the refrigerator of the mind and the cupboard of the heart". ~Thomas Fuller