I’ve spent the summer in a weird state of nostalgia. I like to think I’m the kind of person who doesn’t take major life events seriously — it’s just a ceremony, it’s just a piece of paper — but it turns out I am the opposite of that. I take them way too seriously! And now my days are dotted with flashbacks, some are familiar memories I play back often, some are completely new ones I periodically unearth.
Sitting in the coffee shop today, I realized that these memories that flood back to me at any given moment, which are often triggered by meeting a new person or walking down a familiar road or by sitting in this chair too long, letting my thoughts wander, are identity-affirming. We aren’t just shaped by our experiences as they happen. Those experiences are continually reinforced our whole lives through the never-ending reruns playing on the television inside our minds.
Anyways, memories seem to pop up more than normal these days. Maybe it’s an aggressive attempt to not forget it all, now that I’m adding much more information to the pot at a faster rate. I’ve started a new job, which is hectic, and I’m learning a lot more things, people, places, stories and skills. My brain feels crowded and unorganized as I try to keep it all straight.
This is the last reflective summer post, I swear. I’m starting fall fresh, with a routine, at peace with my entirely new life. School is over and that’s okay. I dearly miss the hectic variety of jumping from class to class, writing a last-minute essay, learning new ideas at the hands professors. But my life isn’t too much different right now. I’m sitting down with people who are much older and more experienced than me, learning all about walkability and municipal bureaucracy and big ideas and the tedious, long application of big ideas. I’m learning about applied theory, now. And applying theory. And I’m still feverishly writing last-minute stories at midnight, so truly, not much has changed.
Here are photos from my last days of summer, the last days of sweating in sweaters before freezing under those same sweaters. I ate chicken fingers and drank a malted chocolate milkshake with my parents at our favorite diner, as tradition. I hiked and took photos and talked about life’s anxieties. I laid on a blanket at Knox Farm, eating cider donuts and drinking cider slushies (and beer), talking more about life. Talking about life: that’s probably what I like most, whether it’s with myself on my blog or with my friends and family, or strangers for a larger audience in print.