Keeping a hope chest is a common practice for those who imagine themselves filling the bride-to-be position some day. I have never kept one but I began to think about the concept behind it. You fill a box with napkin rings, dishes, linens, clothing, and other items to use once you enter into the realm of marriage. I have started thinking- why wait? I am not discounting the value of this tradition passed from one generation of women to the next nor am saying it should end, but I have begun to think about it in a different sense. Let's think outside the box for a minute. Would you keep a box of your favorite possessions under your bed to sit and never be used? Would you horde your hopes and dreams away in the back of a closet never to be examined, never to be explored? I'm sure fear has kept all of our dreams on the back burner, locked in that chest, stuck in a closet. It's easier to have them and store them away then actually explore the unstable world of possibility.I am trying to keep my chest open, filling it daily with trinkets and future opportunities to be dissected and understood. We all have a lot more time to examine ourselves then we like to think. What is it that you have stored at the bottom of your hope chest? What is it you aren't confronting because you're too afraid to think what if? What is it you are hiding from? We determine our own paths, we make our own futures. So don't keep hope locked in a chest. Let it out to show you the way, let it take over, let it be your guide. The only thing worse than admitting failure is never taking the initiative to try in the first place.