Why Looking through Old Photos Brings Me so Much Joy

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I just scrolled through Instagram and relived some of my memories. Simple, normal, everyday moments that made me feel something so lovely at the time, that I felt compelled to share a photo and a few words. Sometimes many words. Sunrises and sunsets. Morning, afternoon, and even walks. Runs. The blissed out joy that comes from the combination of movement, fresh air, and a good song. Broadway shows. Quotes that inspired me. Spring flowers. Fall leaves. The Boston city skyline. Jaunts around the Charles River. Friends. ⠀

Listening to Luciano Pavarotti while catching what was probably the most beautiful sunrise I’ve ever seen. A half marathon through the White Mountains in New Hampshire (SO HARD!). Germany winning the World Cup in 2014 (still one of the happiest moments of my life). Yoga moments. Calm moments. Peaceful moments. Mindful moments. Family moments. Little drops of fleeting, transient, temporary present moments. A string of singular stories that somehow combine to paint a picture of who I was, who I’ve been, and who I’m on my way to becoming.⠀

It makes me smile. I can remember so many of these moments so vividly. It’s like I’m there again. I look at pictures of myself from just a few years ago and can’t believe how young I look, how much my life has changed, all of the things that have occurred. How I couldn’t have seen how my life would unfold. How I had no idea how any of it would play out. And how I can’t imagine any of it going any other way. ⠀

I love looking through photos. Not to relive the experiences with a desperate longing to return, but to remember what it felt like to inhabit them. The joy. The wonder. The appreciation. The fullness. The lightness.⠀

It also reminds me that my current present moments—all of these temporary, transient, fleeting moments—will one day be but memories. Soft, simple, subtle pockets of lightness I’ll remember with fondness as I look back at the photos I took and the words I wrote.⠀

Our lives are magical. Every moment is a miracle. And we can live and breathe and inhabit every magical, miraculous passing, fleeting moment, by being fully present with them right here and right now.