“Between Mad Men ending and Letterman ending, it is a truly terrifying week for white people.” – Favorite tweet of today from Billy Eichner
I’m reclining on a hideous-in-a-cool-way vintage couch, watching the sun set over the 1800s brick architecture of Charleston, and huffing the glorious fumes of a nearby shop that is baking a batch of waffle cones (a complicated process I remember all too well from my days working at an ice cream & burger joint). I’m thinking about how this is not only a terrifying week because I shamelessly love David Letterman and will genuinely miss his poetic, old-timey phrases like “program” and “goof” and “for the love of God, folks, don’t try this at home!”, but also because in six days I’m packing up all of my belongings and leaving this wondrous city. This is one of those pretty moments that remind me of just how important pretty moments are.
At least once a week, this quote floats into my head: “In 20 years I won’t remember today and that scares me.” This is what has pushed me multiple times to write down my experiences in journals but then inevitably give up and go back to shoving my hand into a can of Pringles. I guess this is another benefit of daily blogging.
When I’m forty years old and I think about myself at ages 16 to 18, my mind will probably go to that one professor who really believed in my writing, or the one teacher who stopped me in the hallway and said “Are you okay?”, or all the weird nights at Naples Memorial Gardens with my friends when we saw a ghost, or competing with my coworkers to see who could close down the custard machines the fastest, or Dustin from Dominos who knows my pizza & wings order by heart, or waiting in the same line for the same late-night kale smoothie every weekend.
Chances are, I won’t commit a lot of this to memory: the sipping of water, the listening to myself typing, the ignoring a sink of dirty dishes, the messy bun on top my head. I won’t remember this pair of brown sandals, about which there is nothing at all special or extraordinary, but who took my feet for a long walks around my college campus, Miami’s Dolphin Mall, and a solo trip through the freezing city of Chicago.
I won’t always remember this age with the kind of reverence I currently feel it deserves. I won’t be able to conjure up this feeling of being equal parts confident and doubtful about my potential, equal parts excited and terrified about the future, equal parts comfortable in the world and anxious as hell. I won’t remember how it feels like a victory every time I get through a phone call with a doctor’s office without stumbling over my words like a little kid, or how it feels to have someone refer to you as “that woman over there” and realize they don’t mean “woman” as a condescending compliment, but rather a genuine descriptor. I won’t remember that little sinking feeling in my stomach when it occurred to me that my leopard print sweater looks pretty ridiculous on me now, or how I hold my breath every time I check my bank account, or how eating a grocery store doughnut in a parking lot no longer sounds like an awesome idea.
This mental state that makes up my entire life right now will be gone and virtually forgotten as soon as the next stage starts. So this evening, I’m making an effort to soak it up.