addicted. 

Hi, my name is ____
and I’m      addicted
to days gone by.

the high:
memories, photographs
and the laughs
from the past-

I got hooked
on the good times
by living them,

jonesing for the
old days when
we were all just
existing together,

missing the ones
we lost
along the way,

getting through
the withdrawals on
“remember whens”
and “should’ve beens”

wishing [Thursday]
wasn’t the only
throwback
we’re allowed

Advertisements

an open letter to the friends who fade

IMG_0737

“The past beats inside me like a second heart.”  ― John Banville

To the friends who’ve faded:

Neither of us is really to blame for the fact that we lost touch. Time had something to do with it. Distance, life. Everything got in the way, despite FaceTime and iMessage. Although other friendships persisted for each of us, ours didn’t.

You pop up every once in a while on my Facebook feed, on Instagram. I see you went to London and he got a new puppy. She moved in with her boyfriend, and someone else moved farrrrr away. They got engaged, and that other couple we swore would make it crashed… hard.

I sometimes wonder if you’re happy, what your day-to-day life is like now. I used to be part of your day-to-day life. Remember that? The stupid, funny, lazy way we saw each other every day? In class, on the sidewalk, in the cafeteria… that was the norm. I wonder what we would say to each other now. Would you still let me steal your French fries?

How’re your parents? I think about them too.

I could message you or text you and say let’s get together and catch up, but we’re such different people now than we used to be. And what if reconnecting was somehow disappointing? Better to just leave the good memories where they are and avoid the risk of turning our once-friendship into an awkward encounter.

I guess what I really want you to know is that I liked having you in my life, even if you wouldn’t think so now. I’ll remember that nickname you gave me and the way you told off anyone who deserved it. I’ll remember the many cups of coffee we shared and the things we suffered through together.

We all just move forward and farther apart, whether we want to or not. The clock ticks and the time we spent together continues to fade away. Before it’s gone altogether, I just wanted you to know that I still think of you sometimes. I see old pictures of us together and I smile. I’d like you to live your life knowing that in whatever way I knew you, in whatever time, you mattered to me.

People grow, friendships fade- and they should. The friends you have in one phase of your life don’t always transfer to the next, and those friends aren’t always the best for you as you move on. But that doesn’t mean they were unimportant in shaping your life into what it is, into who you are.

I miss you, and the times we laughed together. I’ll always be grateful for those, and for how they got me here.

It truly was nice knowing you- cheers.

inventory.

here I sit,
taking inventory of

THE WALLET:
thirty-six dollars,
a card that gives me license
to drink and to drive
(but not together),
another that gives me credit,
pictures of her,
and tickets to a show
that won’t go on.

THE HEAD:
countless passwords,
a bachelor’s degree-worth
of knowledge I rarely use,
friends’ birthdays,
how to drive a car,
and memories of what
life used to be.

THE HEART:
the most beautiful little girl,
the kind of friends
you only hear about,
a family that dulls others
by comparison-

and a stubborn refusal to give up
on the idea that
love
will always win.

remember: we’re all just stories, in the end 

  

“Sometimes,” he sighed, “I think the things I remember are more real than the things I see.”  -Arthur Golden

Memories are a tricky thing. They can lift our spirits or knock us flat on our ass. They can be the way we hold loved ones close or the medium through which our demons haunt us. 

Some even say that the continuing culmination of our experiences and memories are the very essence of who we are. We live in the memories of others and they live in ours. 

We all want to be remembered, to make an impact. That’s why people dream of fame, of success, of making a difference. That’s the worry over the perfect first impression and the reason for hours of practice before the grand finale. 

The day comes for all of us where we look at our lives and ask the question: How will you be remembered? What kind of gifts, footprints, and scars have you left in the lives and memories of others? Do you lift them up and make them better for having known you? Do you tear them down in the quest to fulfill your own selfish wants, your own narcissistic desires? 

When other people think of you, what comes to mind first: your love, your loyalty? Your lies? Will you be famous or infamous to the people that matter most? 

Everyone will remember us a little differently, but someone who is true to them self and consistent in their convictions will be remembered by most in the same way, whether that be good or bad. And that memory will live on and continue to affect others for years to come. A quick glance or a careless word spoken out of anger or fear- or love- these are the ways in which we persist. Isn’t it crazy, and terrifying, and wonderfully amazing the power that we have over each other? 

There are many people who exist in my memories, both living and dead. There are those I remember fondly and those I would rather not remember at all. Each of them has affected who I am and, in turn, the way I will be remembered by others. 

And so the question remains, how do you want to be remembered? Far more importantly, how will you live each day, from now until the day you die, in order to become the memory you think you deserve to be?

Just remember: the answer to that question is one of the few things that matters. 

the truth about homecoming.

IMG_3568

“We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there.” -Pascal Mercier

The truth is, five short months after graduation will be homecoming. And if you had the kind of friends who “did college right,” they’ll do homecoming right too.

The truth is, hugging the roommate you haven’t seen since July will be the best thing you do all week. Letting them go will be the hardest thing you do all month.

The truth is, they’ll charge you $15 to get into the beer tent, but you’ll pay it anyway because you’re going in there come hell or high water.

The truth is, it will feel like an actual blow to the stomach when you see freshmen walking around with tshirts that say “Class of 2018.” YES, EIGHTEEN.

The truth is, you’ll always somehow belong to that school, but it doesn’t really belong to you anymore.

The truth is, you’ll never find a burger that tastes quite like the one they make at your favorite place on the meal plan. Thankfully, it’ll taste just like it did in May.

The truth is, you’ll kind of miss Maroon and Gold.

The truth is, it’ll be really weird when you drive by your old apartment and wonder what it looks like inside now. It’ll be weirder to realize that it doesn’t really matter what it looks like-it’s not yours anymore.

The truth is, that bar up the street is still overpriced, but somehow worth every penny when it’s filled with the right people.

The truth is you can’t drink as much as you used to, but that’s probably not going to stop you.

The truth is, one weekend is not enough time to catch up with people you used to see every day. Somehow, getting that five minutes to say hello and share a hug is happy and kind of hurts at the same time.

The truth is, eating brunch with your roommates the next morning will feel exactly like it used to, even if it’s a different diner. But getting in separate cars to go separate ways at the end of the meal will feel stranger than you can imagine.

The truth is, you won’t realize how much you miss those crazy kids until you have to leave them again. It will somehow be harder than you expected to go back to reality after a taste of what once was.

The truth is, no one told you how much it sucks not to see your best friends every day. They probably couldn’t have warned you if they tried.

The truth is, you won’t know how very much that campus was home until it’s not anymore.

The truth is, it’ll be exactly what you needed.

who were you when the flash went off?

IMG_0229“And the moral of the story is that you don’t remember what happened. What you remember becomes what happened.” -John Green

Do you ever look at a photo you’re in and try to remember what life was like for you in that moment? What it was to be you, looking into the camera, instead of you, looking back on the moment you were trying to capture?

Who were you when the flash went off?

Were you smiling because you were genuinely happy or because the camera was about to click? Is the person next to you someone you wanted there? Can you remember the way their arm felt around your shoulders and what they were saying in the moment before you turned to smile?

There is such an intense focus for us to preserve each moment, to document every detail of our lives- and to make sure they’re perfect in their documentation. My hair’s not right. You blinked. He didn’t smile. Someone threw up bunny ears- Take it again, with flash.

We get so concerned about taking that perfect photo that we end up documenting a manufactured moment instead of the one that was truly lived. And then we peruse a slew of filters to color the moment even more, to make it look less and less like the thing it was.

Over time, we see that photo again and again- catch a glance of it on our bulletin board or stumble upon it on Facebook. And what we begin to remember is not what it felt like to be alive that night, laughing with friends over drinks or hugging our parents at graduation. We remember what the photo shows us: the perfectly manufactured moment of somebody we used to be.

We try so desperately to find ways to remember, that we forget to actually live the life the photo captures. Instead of worrying if we’ll look perfect when the camera goes off, we should be worrying if we’ve fully taken in the smell of mom’s perfume standing next to us or the punchline of the joke a friend made about the photographer.

The moments that weren’t captured, that can’t be captured- those are the moments worth remembering.

A perfect photo will remind you where you were standing and what you were wearing in one single instant of your life. If you don’t look around and take in that moment for yourself, if you don’t appreciate it while it’s happening, the photo won’t be much help in reminding you who you were when it was taken.

The best stories, the best memories and the best lives don’t come from people who live for the perfectly manufactured moments. They come from the people who are too busy enjoying what’s around them to worry about documenting it.