It’s funny how your perceptions change with age. Do you remember your last visit to your elementary school? How small the chairs were? The tiny toilets? How that chair-rail on the wall used to be at eye level?
Do you remember your last visit to your grandparents’ house? How you used to slide down the stairs head-first and not fear crashing through the window at the base (because you wouldn’t build up enough momentum back then, and if not for this, you would still be doing it)? The sensation of all the body warmth trapped in the tiny living room? That final goodnight? That nervous goodbye?
It’s funny how your eyes are drawn to different things as you grow older. The stucco walls no longer catch your attention. The pit in the cafeteria is more like a divot the floor of a whitewashed cave. Those fancy Papermate mechanical pencils don’t looks so special anymore.
Do you remember when marching band used to be fun? When it wasn’t a rearrangement of the same already-experienced experiences? How tests used to scare you? How getting tests back used to scare you? How you used to try to come up with a coherent response to the plaguing question “Where are you going to go to college”?
It’s funny how you stop using that diary app when times are good, so that when you look back, and read all those negative combinations of words, and remember how lost you sometimes felt, and how you didn’t feel like you had anyone you could really trust anymore, when in reality you had a dozen just waiting for you to initiate a friendship, you doubt your sanity just a little bit. It’s funny how reluctant you are to let go of failing friendships when you doubt your ability to forge new ones.
Do you remember the last best friend you made? How you used to cry from laughing so hard? How you used to smile those finally-someone-understands-me smiles? How your adventures used to seem special, 1/1 for both of you, and not 1/100 for them? How you still felt that connection that best friends have, and didn’t have doubts about your importance to them? Because if you really do matter that much, why is it so $#@*&^ hard to even make plans?
It’s funny how hard it is to be happy when looking in the mirror. How losing 20 pounds isn’t enough, and minutely changing hairstyles, or getting new glasses, becomes so irrelevant so quickly. How all the clothes look the same and give off the image of a different person.
Do you remember the last audition that you left feeling satisfied? How first chair used to matter, or region band used to be some moderate sort of honor? How it felt before that one !$@*^@# audition changed everything?
It’s funny how you can dedicate months toward learning three pieces of music, countless lessons and hours, and moments of pure stress and confusion, and still come out broke on the other side. How failing means missing All-State by two chairs, and that all the pressure came from yourself.
Do you remember the last time you knew where you stood with your friends? How you used to have a group of people you could trust and confide in? How, even if you fussed, you knew they had your back?
It’s funny how easy it is to want to throw in the towel. To just give in/up/not a damn about what happens. The nihilism sets in, and then the vague depression — in that the whole %$*&# deal seems pointless –, and then, out of nowhere, something happens. Anything, really. A dog dies. A friend is made. A test is 100’d (since getting an A is not enough). And you snap out of it.
Do you remember the last day that you didn’t want to take back something you said? (Of course not.) Or when you made it a full 24 hours without… I don’t even know what I’m saying anymore.
I think I just got something off my chest, somewhere in there… honestly I’m not sure.