So I’m here now. It’s the autumn after the summer before and every day I’m living the life that I spent years looking forward to. Sometimes I’ll be walking down the street by myself in this unfamiliar place and everything will click and I’ll realize that this is my life now. I lived through each day to get to the next day and the next and all those days have led me to here. This city, this unfamiliar place that still feels strange to call home. I can’t say it without a bad feeling in my mouth, without a sort of cognitive dissonance. But this is where I’ve always wanted to live so I must love it.
It’s summer. What a time to be alive. Out my window all I can see is endless blue and all I can hear are the tinkling sounds of sunny days. The cars breezing by on their way away, the lazy wind chasing after them. Usually I would find some secluded place filled with sunbeams and soak it all in, but this summer is different. This is the summer before ___.
The summer before university, the summer before living on my own, the summer before adulthood, before change, before ends and beginnings. This is the summer with too much to lose and the things that can be gained are still too far away to be tangible.
So here I am, staring into the blue and trying to tie up loose ends. Maybe it would be easier to just cut the strings tying me to this place instead of helplessly trying to salvage them by tying weak knots that will only fray. Perhaps it’s a useless endeavour, trying to pull the past with you into the future. The strings of childhood are too weak to withstand time anyway and dragging them on will only make me more sorry to see them go when they inevitably break.
Summer used to be the haven between changes, the place where I could pause life for a bit, just a bit. But this summer is too rushed, too much like a whirlwind pushing me ever closer to…where exactly? To my next destination, to the stage of where I’m meant to be. Maybe summer finally got tired of being the Stop Between and decided not to be anymore.
Or, maybe I’m just growing up. And growing up means that you can’t always just stare into the blue and listen to the world pass by. Growing up means that you have to become the world and move along with it.
I’m usually late to the game when it comes to the hip new products that cool kids use, and never was this more true than with Spotify. Only today did I discover their “Discover Weekly” playlists, and to say that it has totally revolutionized my musical life would be an understatement. Listening to all these beautifully emotive songs, a memory that is inextricably tied with music suddenly surfaced.
My family loves to take road trips, and one factor that determines whether a trip is memorable or not is its playlist. Cruising down the highway, music floating above your head—why, it’s what all great movie montages are made of. During one particularly long drive down the California interstate, the sun gently shone, the hills serenely rolled by, and We Are Young by fun. blasted all around the small car. I rested my head by my window and watched as the glowing landscape blurred in front of my eyes in this perfect moment. Now the song We Are Young will always be tied with sunny California, peaceful drives, and contentment.
Memory is a strange thing. How does one decide what to keep and what to throw away? Sometimes you try your hardest to remember a particular moment in time, but no matter how hard you hold on, it slips away and is lost forever. I like to think that there is an invisible world where lost memories live. It’s right in our own world, we just can’t see them. Your lost memories are all around you, floating right above your head. Every once in a while one will break through the barrier between our world and theirs and for a moment, the tiniest fraction of a moment, you will remember that long lost summer day or a dream you thought you would never see again. This happens to me often and brings me a lot of happiness when a memory suddenly washes over me. I want to document a few of these fleeting moments and what better way to do it than with alliteration?
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When I was about six years old, my parents sold their business and bought an RV. Along with the vehicle came with a VHS titled “Go RVing”. Caught up in the excitement of a shiny new purchase and the promise of weekends spent in the wilderness, we popped the tape into our VCR and gathered around the TV. I was immediately entranced. The screen showed images of happy families with a variety of RVs swimming in pristine lakes and laughing by the campfire. Grandparents lounged in the shade while children scampered along the river in perfectly clean clothing. It was a paradise, and one that was promised to me with our own RV. It’s embarrassing to look back on it now, but the tape quickly became my favourite “movie”, and I watched it at least once on every trip (groans inwardly). I don’t know why I loved it so, but I remember laying in front of our tiny TV in our RV after a long day outdoors and watching the perfect nuclear family give a tour of their RV. I had forgotten all about this tape until GoRVing popped up on my Instagram feed a few days ago. How simple childhood was.