A Year Can Change A Lot: Part 7

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Knowing Yourself Is The Beginning of All Wisdom

Missed Part 1, Part 2, Part 3Part 4, Part 5, or Part 6?

I would not be where I am today had it not been for the wonderful women in my life. My mom and sisters in particular have been such a great support system for me over the past 3 years as I went through many highs and many lows.

Just prior to my graduation, my mom sent me one of the most touching and memorable gifts that I have ever received.

She sent me a time capsule filled with memories and articles from my childhood. I was just shocked when I opened my gift to see a beautiful wooden, engraved memory box.

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It reads: ‘Angela, Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.’

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When I opened it up I found this poem:

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She included her own high school graduation picture:

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Isn’t she beautiful? :D

Inside the box are tons of pictures from when I was a child, all complete with captions of the date and who I was with. We lived in Georgia and Florida when I was ages 4-8.

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We were so 80’s! This was my all time favourite outfit- a pink and black polka dot ensemble:

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I’m sure I was wearing a snap bracelet to go along with my high top sneakers. ;)

Including a drawing of me when I was just 3-4 years old done by a local artist:

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And Eric and I at our high school prom in 2000:

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Everyone joked that we were getting married and not going to prom!

Well, 8 years later we did. ;)

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There are tons of school assignments I did , including one from 1990 (man I feel old!!!) where I wrote 5 special things about myself:

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They included:

  • Everyone is special and different
  • I am healthy when I get good sleep
  • Parents and a dog that love me
  • My sister who plays with me

I rocked long division (bahahah!)

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But the best part of this entire capsule were the words that my mom wrote in it.

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She wrote:

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I know….just amazing!

I teared up when I brought it all out last night to read over again.

When I first read it, I didn’t really know how to apply it to my current situation. I felt stuck in a job where I was unhappy and I felt like I was destined to do work that I didn’t really enjoy. Perhaps, this letter planted the seed for me though.

Reading it over last night, everything sort of clicked for me.

Over the past 8 months, I have learned these lessons. I have learned that money doesn’t bring happiness and it sure as hell won’t give you self-esteem or character. I have learned that being true to myself is possibly one of the most beneficial things that I could ever achieve. I have learned that if you do something you love and are passionate about, the money will eventually follow.

I used to be this guarded person who was afraid to open up. I was shown time and time again that being a sensitive person, especially in the workplace, was strongly discouraged. I was to be a brick wall, tough, and hard. But that isn’t me and I felt a huge internal conflict because of this.

Once I took my walls down and let myself be vulnerable, I felt free. I decided to stop hiding who I was and instead of working against myself, I worked with myself and my strengths and abilities.

I now believe that one of the keys to pursuing your dreams is to let go of all those walls. Stop hiding who you are because society is telling you to be someone who you are not. Each and every one of us has some unique ability to share with others. A way that we can contribute and feel that our purpose for life is fulfilled.

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Do you know yourself?
Do you have any influential women in your own lives who have given you the strength to dream big?

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

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Beverly October 22, 2009

What a small world! The pic of you as a child in Woodstock, GA…. I went to college about 10 miles north of there! I still live in the Atlanta area too :-)

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RickSmithAuthor October 19, 2009

Wow, this is a great post! I just wrote a bestselling book on this exact suubject (The Leap). You can never be truly happy on someone else’s predefined path. You must first discover your strengths and passions, then focus the energy that gets released on something big and meaningful.

Rick Smith

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Cynthia (It All Changes) October 17, 2009

This is so beautiful that your mom did this for you.

My mom is my hero. She provided for her family and supported me in doing what I love and changing careers. She shares so many important memories with me and I love hre for it.

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Peanut Butter Bliss October 17, 2009

I love that you two went to prom together AND got married :) so cute!

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maria October 16, 2009

What a beautiful and touching gift to give someone. How special. You are blessed to have such a wonderful mother.

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Kerry October 16, 2009

This got me teary too. I think about what I want to do with my life and the person I want to be.

My Mom is a huge support to me, and constantly encourages me. My sister is also a huge support, and is doing an amazing job as a new mom to her two week old baby. They are both inspirations!

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Jenny Eastwood October 16, 2009

It’s beautiful that your mother gave you that :) Those are incredible words, and she clearly loves you to death and cares to the moon and back. All the words she wrote were true as well. Thank you for sharing this with us :) It’s brightened my day and got me thinking…
What an incredible gift.

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Jil October 16, 2009

Oh my gosh, I teared up a little reading your mom’s words. That is an amazing gift!! I think I can say that I know myself better now, than I ever have in my entire life…but you know, I don’t think I could ever say I KNOW myself. I know myself in essence…in my moral standings, etc – those are pretty concrete…but ya know, I’m changing every day…but I guess even that is part of my that I know..even if it is changing.

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Bree October 16, 2009

what an awesome gift… :-D

i totally remember slap bracelets…probably still have them somewhere…they were the coolest thing lol

wow, eric really hasn’t changed a bit…he looks like he just stepped out of one picture and into the next :-P

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Marina October 16, 2009

This is such a beautiful thing, that box your mom send you! I was really touched. My mom is too really inspirational and strong. She is a doctor, she worked days and weekends, she worked through so many nights without any sleep, but she always came home with some stuff for me, my sister and dad, she was always there for us, and still is. No matter how tired she is, I know I can count on her. Even when my dad died, she was there. I saw here fragile, heart broken and incredibly sad. But I also saw so much love,and so much caring for me and my sister. I hope that I’ll be strong as she is :)

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Jen October 16, 2009

I have an amazing mom who has always been there for me and continues to be my biggest supporter and cheerleader. I honestly don’t know what I would do without her.

But that last line of your post made me think of my dad… on my 11th birthday he gave me a card that said “Remember to dream big, Dreams do come true.” He wrote the same thing on the card for my 18th birthday. To this day even thinking about it makes me cry. My family has never tried to force me into a career I don’t want. They love me and want me to be happy and pursue my dreams. I am so lucky and grateful.

Geez Angela…make me cry much.

I love your blog… I think you are an incredible inspiration.

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