It’s story time.

Sometimes the things you feel like you want to bury forever reveal themselves later to be treasured memories – we just need to grow far enough from them that we can look at them with new eyes.

I just got back from a trip with my husband to Connecticut, where he grew up.  We were there to visit with family and attend his youngest brother’s wedding. It was great – for once I got to dress up and be a normal wedding guest.  No photography required.

While we were waiting to board our flight home in the Bradley International Airport, Chad suggested getting a snack at Dunkin’ Donuts.

Of course, Dunkin Donuts is a super popular chain in New England that does not exist in the Northwest where we live now. For those of you who aren’t familiar, Dunkin’s is like the Starbucks of Donuts.  They’re on every corner, the atmosphere is pretty much non-existent, the food is greasy, and for some reason everyone loves the coffee.

Five minutes later – bagel with smoked salmon cream cheese and hazelnut latte in hand – we headed to the gate to wait for boarding.  It was early and, having stayed up late for the wedding, we were both exhausted.

After a few minutes of silence Chad said “I don’t know why I always want this when we’re on the east coast.  It takes me back, but it’s not that I want to go back to that time… I mean my life now is so much better now than it was then.  But it feels so good to go back for a little while.”

I thought about what he had said, and imagined all the restaurants, parks, etc that I like to go to when we visit my hometown. He was right – nostalgia isn’t the feeling of wanting to go back.  In fact, I was extremely ill for a large part of my teen years.  There’s no way I would go back and do that again.  But going back to those places reminds me of where I have been.  They are a part of what shaped me into the person I am today.  They are very special pieces of the puzzle of my story.

I realized that this is related to my passion of helping families capture their own stories authentically so they can revisit them and pass them on to the next generation. Through the challenges — the tantrums, the bla bla bla — there is joy.

When you get a chance to revisit that joy…that’s what we call nostalgia. And that nostalgia feels really good.

It feels good because it proves that you are a part of something wonderful. It illustrates how far you have come.”you may not want to go back, but you want to remember who you once were — what shaped you into the person you are today.

Reminiscing (or reliving) through family photos and albums reconnects us to the feeling that we’re part of something bigger.  It gives your kids a concrete sense of belonging.  

Where do you like to go that reminds you of where you came from, and why?

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