These past few weeks, I feel like my heart has been tinged around the edges with nostalgia. Perhaps it’s because I’m about to transition into a real, grown-up part of my life… the part where I get married. The part where my new husband and I move to a city where we don’t know anybody at all, where we have to find jobs and an apartment and friends all on our own, where we start over, from scratch, for real. Maybe it’s because I’m starting to forget the names of the people I knew in high school, and some even from college. Maybe it’s because it’s been almost a year since I saw any of my best friends, all of whom are thousands of miles away, and because every moment of every day I make new memories without them. Maybe it’s all of that and more.
But, whatever the cause, this bittersweet aching feeling hearkens me back to times scattered all over my history, and the memories are so real that sometimes I feel like I can taste them. It’s like… well, like they’ve been bottled up this whole time.
I close my eyes and I’m at summer camp again, sitting in a small chapel in the hills of Asheville and watching the morning light filter through stained-glass windows. I’m laying in the grass beside Will in Lincoln Park, with the warmth of the afternoon sun on my back, exhausted after a day of exploring the city. I can feel my heart beating as I stand up at my high school graduation, shaping my words in an attempt to tell my classmates that I had grown to love and respect them, despite their hostility towards me throughout those years. I’m surrounded by my 8th grade youth group, our bodies wedged together as we stand on chairs in the back of a worship service, with arms raised. I’m sitting around a table at my apartment in Santa Barbara, sharing a “family dinner” with my dearest friends, laughing and eating sticky toffee pudding and watching the candles drip wax onto the table.
It’s as if I’m reliving my saddest memories, and the ones where I was deliriously happy, and a thousand that lay in the middle of the two poles. It’s everywhere and then it’s gone, and I feel empty, wishing I could have it all back again, and yet full with gratitude for how much I have lived. These are the days, I guess, to reflect on what has shaped me into who I am, before I become as “Mrs.” and start another season of my life.
Here’s to many more memories to come.
p.s. you can find the photo here.