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I was sitting in my Princess chair in my parents’ house, no make-up, scruffy clothes, hair combed over to hide my bald patch (ugh). But feeling great!  This chair had always been MY chair. It had been reupholstered so many times that the cost of the upholstery is more than the original price of the chair itself.

I was laughing at something on the television. From across the room, he stared at me. He who has known me, watched me, and loved me for eight years, both professionally and personally. He who got my heart beating again, who gave me my life back again.

My parents gave him a strange look, sensing the intensity of his stare at me, but he did not notice them.  He’s like that, strong and self-possessed, devoid of social niceties.

“I can see the little girl you were, Jac,” he said deeply, as if we were the only two people in the room. “You were so very happy here, in this house, weren’t you?”

My mother beamed at him. “Yes, she was! Those were the best days of my life, when she and her brothers were young. Oh, we were all so happy then!”

“She always had a nasty temper on her,” my father had to say, but he was failing to hide that smile on his face. ‘Awkward little cuss.”

I whipped my iPhone out and took a selfie.

Yes, that is what we really are. We are a walking record of our history – from childhood to first love to adult life. Try as we might to mask that history with career success, external achievements  and clever stories, we are still a walking record of our history when we strip the cloak of pretense away.

Acknowledge your history. Heal it, if necessary. Be proud of it.