I feel really weird, maybe because it's Friday and I've spent all afternoon at home doing nothing except for ordering a pizza and feeling rottingly nostalgic. It feels kind of like sophomore year all over again right now but weird in that strange irreversible things have happened since then so it will never really be the same.
When I was younger, in middle school, I used to read the news online for fun in class. I used to do all my homework and do it well. I used to have books checked out from the library at all times. I would write frequently -- poems, personal anecdotes, the beginnings of novels, blog posts -- just for fun. I used to take pictures everywhere, of everything, and spend time getting the composition right, making sure the aperture and the ISO all lined up. I played soccer and had guitar lessons and went to youth group every Sunday. I spent a lot more time with my family, and a lot more time by myself.
And somewhere along the way from then to now, I stopped doing all those things. My soccer team fell apart and I replaced it with track and cross country. I stopped playing guitar after my finger got hurt in November. Books and photography and magazines I replaced with Tumblr and blogs and hanging out with friends.
The only thing I didn't really stop doing was writing; if anything, my journals became more regular. Of this, I am glad. I am so, so thankful I have this way of documenting my life.
I don't want to make it sound like I want to go back to when I was younger, because I don't. It's just become increasingly clear to me that although I am fundamentally the same person I was sophomore year, I'm in a different place. I have more experiences, so to speak, and although I'm still rather hopelessly naive when it comes to, well, pretty much everything, I'm ever so slightly less so. Which is, I think, is probably a normal side-effect of growing up. More than that, I became less lonely, more sure of myself. I don't hate myself the way I did when I was thirteen. I don't hate myself at all.
It's kind of like, forgive me my cheesy comparisons, climbing a mountain. Of life? And I'm not at the top and if the top is true enlightenment then maybe I'll never get there, but I've made some progress, and now I'm at a vantage point where I can see where I started and see how far I've come and how things have changed since then. Maybe not all the changes are good, and maybe I've tripped once or five times on my way up, but there's perspective. And there's good company, and good food, and hell, I'm going to be okay, I'm always going to be okay.
Sometimes I feel like I lost a part of myself when I stopped doing all those things that defined me. I know part of growing up -- being alive -- is shedding skin and shedding chains, even if it's kinda sad. Sometimes, maybe you do lose parts of yourself in the thick of it all. But you gain things, you lose things, the ebb and flow. It'll come back, the parts you want to. Not all of it should.
I want to start reading more and writing more, seriously. I also want to keep running and keep hanging out with my crazy friends and sing pop songs with my sister in the kitchen while I still can. I want to not be sad about the things I've lost or am losing, but just. Go with it. Just love.
I didn't mean for this to get so cheesy and reflective but God help me if I ever write something that isn't. God help me if I ever manage to write a post without asphyxiating it with nostalgia and "weirdness" and some saccharine sentiment about growing up. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, etc. I'm not.