If it's possible, I think I was born nostalgic. As soon as I was able to recognized the bittersweet feeling I'd get when I thought about the past, I knew I was meant to live in (and embrace) a life of nostalgia. I was probably 10 when I began to fully comprehend what it meat to grow up and leave behind each era of your life, only able to return to them in reflection and memories as the years pass by. I dabbled in ways to comprehend this as I grew older—finding peace in diaries and scrapbooks, finding comfort in rewatching and rereading, and finding discomfort in change and growth. In hindsight, much of what I struggled with as I grew older wasn't what you'd think of as traditional growing pains—I was a well-adjusted, well-cared for child and teen. But my soul ached with the weight of my mind, constantly trying to balance the past and the future and therefore stumbling over the present.
My later teenage years were challenging in many ways, as I struggled to form myself without silencing the person I had been growing up, a constant battle between the past and the present. When I finally realized the best way to balance it all, I got it tattooed on my wrist as a reminder—carpe diem. Only the present can resolve both the memories of the past with the uncertainty of the future.
Decades later, I continue to battle with my mind, as each of us do in our own way. I find myself locked in waves of memories, thinking about good and bad times of the past, yearning for the comfort of times come and gone, all the while pining for the release of a future. I'm nostalgic for the early years where my parents didn't live thousands of miles away and a Saturday morning spent watching movies with them was a normalcy. I'm worried for the years ahead, when my hazy goals and dreams are yet to be realized. But through it all, I try to remember the balance that has kept me walking this tightrope of a life for 24 years. Right now that balance manifests itself in yoga, books and quiet walks around a loud city, but even my escapes are always changing.
The only thing we can do is to change too.
This Week's Reads: Purity—Jonathan Franzen; Talking As Fast As I Can—Lauren Graham