Going through some personal and professional archives these last few weeks I discovered so many hidden treasures that I had not been expecting to find.  (Hello again Lemon Cake, you beautiful long-abandoned internet diary you!) My first Coach bag, an architectural silhouette in cobalt blue from 1990 that I thought I had given away at some point but was so surprised to find immaculately stowed away and waiting for me to cherish again. A plastic bag full of irresistibly sparkly appliqués circa 2001 bought in downtown LA (when the fashion district was way cooler) that had yet to find a home on fabric and YES THEY WILL VERY SOON.  (I was just thinking the other day how this oversized madras polo shirt I have would be an excellent canvas for some sequins and shoulder pads.) But this black and white headshot of me from my twenties, tucked away inside one of the magazines I had written for just several years ago, really took my breath away.  Not because I thought, oh fuck, look how young I was, I am not any more — (I did think that, yes) — but because I completely forgot I even had that photo taken and looking into my younger eyes captured there (in film, on photo paper, pre-Photoshop) was like fairy magic. It opened a buried box in my mind and a whole lot of forgotten memories came fluttering out. Instantly I was reunited with that creative, open, loving, daring, hopeful, on-the-edge-of-what’s-next self who was unexpectedly looking at me from many years ago.  It made me think how they often ask people, what do you wish you could say to your younger self if you could share some advice, some life lessons…and I realized, you know, this is my younger self trying to tell ME something:

Don’t ever forget about me.  

(And….aren’t you glad you don’t throw anything away?!)

© Jennifer Dowd

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