When I think of the places I used to know, the locations where keyframe events in my life took place, I feel desideratum. Almost as if there is a feeling of loss, or grief for something lost, as if in that moment I was part of something I cannot see. Forever lost, though completely intangible and metaphysical at best. The heartbreaking reality is the knowledge that most of these places I might never see again. These places helped raise me, and will forever be an integral facet of my past, complete with memories and still frames in my mind of an earlier time in life when I was still young and naive.
Life will hurt, life will break your heart, and life will test your will, yet regardless how broken our bodies and spirits become, the insatiable desire to live remains. In my life I have neglected to give myself enough time for every emotion; I have been guilty of never allowing myself enough time to laugh, to celebrate, to cry, or to truly appreciate the experience of moments before they simply passed me by.
The majority of plans I spent the duration of my childhood documenting never came to be, and those that came to fruition often required a significantly longer period of time than I had originally hoped. It is interesting how ones perespective changes as we grow older. Our minds are always changing; our choices and decisions always half-chance, some of which seem fool heartedly in retrospect. When I was a child, I had made plans which detailed exactly when things were to happen, disregarding any external factors which might have forced me to adapt or abandon those plans altogether.
The older I get, the memories and experiences of my youth grow exponentially more precious, though constantly fleeting as I attempt to make time to document these memories before they are lost forever.
It seems the older I get, the more of an enigma I become, as if I am the keeper of obscure and seldom known facts, the lionshare of which people rarely think about and never pursue. Similarly are the places I long to return to; places people seldom think of, and never visit. In my quotidian life, there is always someplace I’d rather be. A paradox of sorts as in the physical sense I cannot leave though I know I can’t stay; a stranger in my own life who daydreams of moments in life in a feeble attempt to relive those experiences vicariously through ones own imagination.
Memories akin to imaginary possessions that are sometimes lost, abandoned, or intentionally forgotten, the emotional attachment with long-lost locations sometimes themselves, becomes an insatiable obsession.
It feels like just yesterday I was a child playing with dinosaurs in my room on a Sunday morning. I clearly remember writing my very first journal entry at age eight, and how I had set up my own writing space in an unused walk-in closet of my bedroom. I often wish I could return to those times, if only for a day to tell my younger self that no matter what I will have to go through in my life, the wounds will all heal in time.
There are so many things I wish I would have done differently. So many careless mistakes I had made, so many missed opportunities, and so many times I tried to speak out and no one would hear me.
Where did the time go, and where were the places I so vividly remember, now completely unrecognizable, after a lifetime ago?
This article was inspired by a conversation I had recently about my emotional attachment and fascination with specific locations, many of which I think about on a regular basis, though I haven’t visited in many years. The header image was created using Canva and incorporates the fonts Playlist Script, Lato Heavy, and Lato. The street image, Steamer, was taken in New York City in October 2009.
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