It’s early on a Thursday evening, I just sat down, and was catapulted into memories of the past. A card arrived today from an old friend, and written inside was a letter that has almost caused me to break down in tears several times:
‘Every time I see you, you make a wish, and the next time I see you, you’re living it.’
This summer marks my seventeenth rotation around the sun, and I am suddenly nostalgic. A period of wild memories, sweet memories, hard memories, green and rough and candlelit memories. Suddenly these last few years – they end in three months, have a soundtrack and a photo album and feelings and salty tears and a million memories. The more I think on it the more I find my life stranger and stranger. Not just my life as it stands, but the phenomenon of life. This time I have here, to do what I will and make what I want.
What do I do with these whispers, these achingly beautiful memories? They open up like reverse origami in my consciousness and I wonder where on earth they get tucked away all these days. I particularly remember a time when I found myself torn between two boys, both a year older than me, but one grounded, steady and calm, the other effervescent, ebullient, romantic, a bit crazy (the best kind of crazy). I remember the jam sandwich, and the book on the balcony and the bare feet and the cute café guy in Edinburgh and the denim jacket and furious writing, writing, writing.
I remember arriving in the new house and starting high school and leaving my first home. I remember the arguments and the hidden truths and seeing the boys grow up. Oh, the boys. I remember the time when no one knew yet that was the collective name for my brothers, and I remember when they still occupied the rooms around me. The way we could stop everything and just sit outside, musing under the moon the particulars of life, and laugh. The rants. The space I had in my mind then to think about scenes we had just written, and stories we were moulding. I am recognising now a part of myself I had shelved as I entered this process of becoming me. I am recognising a true part of my self. I saw her wave at me when we drove past the old house on the way home two days ago. I saw her on the side of a bus advertising the film of a book I enjoyed, reminding me of my book obsession, the one I've not had time for recently. Me.
It is me I’m remembering, me I am missing. I see reflections of myself in the most intriguing places. It is comforting to find myself again. I don’t want to stop writing. I don’t want to stop putting down these thoughts and feelings and memories and the mysteries I adore. I thought I might drop this ‘pastime’ for a while, see what happened. But I missed it too much and now I’m realising that this is my breath. This is breathing for me. Without it, I may never remember how I saw things at sixteen, maybe even eighteen, or twenty one... who knows how long I will hold on to this blog.
So, this is where I am. Behind the memories of the last few years are the memories of the years before them and the years before them, as if it were a bookshelf of old favourites I’d forgotten to rediscover. Dusty. But full. You can't only read one page when you have the whole book. Stay with me ...words. I don’t know who reads this blog; I stopped looking at my stats a while ago, and part of me doesn’t want to know. Some things I don’t want to do for the sake of an audience or growing this blog or social media. I just want to write. I just want to feel what it feels like when I let it pour out like this. In the early evening light, in the nebula of nostalgia, unfurling through my fingers from these haunts, and following the roads that lead me back to myself. And I am happy for it. These words are me. This is my breath. This is life. This is me.
“No matter what, nobody can take away the dances you’ve already had.” – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
One thing is clear to me, I am at a precipice in my life, a time when everything matters and nothing matters at all. I am sixteen, I'm almost seventeen. I have my whole life ahead of me. Suddenly I feel compelled to work towards healing the environment, and supporting those in other places of the world who aren’t as blessed as we are. My feet are itching to run, to move, to see new sights. The same rain falls on the ground here for months, and there’s an energy in my body today which will sweep like a hurricane through my life. I am sixteen. I am a dreamer. And before I'm too old for doing so... I dream, therefore I am.