I remember in 2000 each of my fourth grade classmates and I made a time capsule that we weren’t supposed to open until we turned 18 years old. In it I added my friends’ yearbook pictures, a class t-shirt, my favorite book and some “about me” papers. Unfortunately, I think I opened it a year or so later and it has been halfway open in my storage ever since.
Time capsules are really neat, and provide insight into a time we may not remember, or have been alive to experience. For example, this month conservators got a unique insight into the world nearly 200 years ago when they opened Paul Revere and Sam Adam’s time capsule. Buried in Boston in 1795, Adams and Revere did a much better job than I, patiently waiting for someone to see what they put inside their capsule which included: five newspapers, at least 24 coins, a commonwealth seal of Massachusetts, and a silver plate.
Since making my time capsule 14 years ago, I have grown from an elementary school child with anxiety over friendships and zero self-confidence to an adult who is emotionally, socially and mentally balanced. Sometimes I think I forget how much can change, and that this evolution was not easy for me. I struggled with grief after the loss of my mom from depression and addiction; went through the stress of a new family structure developing; and completed middle school, high school and completed my degree at the University of Tennessee. In just 14 years I somehow managed to transform into an adult right under my very nose.
Whether it is 2 years or 200 years, it is a neat opportunity and even a therapeutic one, to look back at our own time capsules, even if it is just metaphorically, and remind ourselves just how much progress we have made, often without even noticing.