Finding the Girl

Allison Hopkins Bday
Me, far left circa 1984-85. I was 9 or 10 a friends birthday party. That smile; genuine and carefree…that is the girl I seek to find, once again.

I have always been a sentimental person. For as long as I can remember, I was interested in the old family photos, relics, and the knowledge that I could glean from the generations before me. By no means, am I a packrat. But, I do have some interesting things that I have saved along the way; Random journals, some sad attempts at poetry, a few trinkets, and a lot of photos.

Recently, I began to organize the few bins that I have of memories past. What a walk down memory lane that has been. Old friends, birthdays, my babies…oh, and let us not forget all of the bad hair choices. Wow. Let us table that one for now.

As I looked back at those photos of myself spanning from infancy, childhood, awkward teenage years, and into adulthood…I could not help but wonder, where “the girl” went. I only remember myself as a frightful, and not so-confident girl. Others, well, they tell a very different story about me. To them, I was the outgoing, funny, caring and outspoken one. Always speaking my truth, open and honestly. It amazes me. I only wish I could have seen what the others around me were seeing.

I read in a book recently, by Glennon Doyle, a statement that has stuck with me…to paraphrase, she says to “find the girl you were, before the world told you who you should be.” Mic drop. So, who was this girl? This Tara, before Tara? I am slowing discovering who she was, what she loved, and what she dreamed about. My quest is like an archaeology dig, on an ancient site, where explorers carefully  discover,  gently uncover, lovingly restore, and proudly display the treasures of days-gone-by. I am discovering my treasures; the ones that were broken, buried, hidden…all but completely forgotten. Those treasures that define the girl. The girl, that was to be.  That girl will proudly display the things that made her, and make her, uniquely and beautifully the Girl she is to be.

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