Nostalgia usually begins to set in around this time of year, deep into my bones, always present and always waiting. So many of moments from my past sneak their way in to my life, my dreams, my thoughts. In the past, a lot has happened in the month of May. I have become the person I am today in the month of May. I have lost much and gained much in the month of May.
I am traveling in between two separate worlds, two worlds that hold pieces of my heart, mind, and soul. My body only rests in the in between of my past 3 years and my very beginning, which now is my soon to be my future once again. Every line on the road takes me further away from the northwest. I am a wash of emotions, some of sadness, some of joy, some of wishing I had more time, yet some of knowing I’m listening to the will of God and going where I need to go, at least for this season. Everything within me wants to turn back, to go back to my life in Longview, to the teary-eyed friends I left in the parking lot a short 24 hours.
For as long as I shall live, I will never forget the last day I had in Longview. That town built me up, tore me down, and somehow directed me home to the new life that I was supposed to have, even though I fought that for quite a while. The last day will forever be cemented in my soul. I can still feel the ocean mist on my face, the salt inhabiting the curls in my hair. Everything was damp but no one seemed to mind. We were together. We were hopeful, yet we were sad. We knew that, whether we liked it or not, my era in that small town was coming to an end and I would never be the same. Aside from my husband, the friendships I had back in the northwest are ones that I feel cannot be replaced or replicated. There is something so intense and special about it. It’s not meant to be repeated.
My dear friend couldn’t have said it any better:
It was a simpler time, I laugh because I find myself saying that too often lately. Though, I'm starting to believe "simpler times" really only manifest themselves in hindsight. Either way, in hindsight or in reality,life was simpler then. It was before the reality of life had really set in, before any of my major mistakes were made and before I had any understanding of the consequences that those mistakes brought. The pressures of getting a degree, finding a career, settling down, what have you, didn't seem so daunting or at least not as imminent, and music was solely art. Back then we were all far more concerned with when the next show would be, or when our favorite indie artists would release their next record. We all had our own set of dreams, and strangely enough, we all seemed to end up in far different areas than where we were dreaming of at the time. I guess that's how it always works though. It was a time period which saw moments of triumph, defeat, joy, pain,surprise, disappointment, exciting hello's and some heartbreaking goodbye's. It was back when, to my recollection, none of us had ever heard of a flight that occurred at any sort of decent hour. Any time spent at the airport usually resulted in an all-nighter, or at very least, struggling to stay awake in the pew the next day. It was a time period where somehow, church, a trip to ikea, Cap'n Yoby's halibut, and a Fat Tire could cure a day which saw the death of a family member, and even the mightiest fall. It was a time that worked wonders for me as a musician, but not as much can probably be said for my lungs. I’m an olfactory memory type though, so I guess it just adds another dimension to the memory. I was one of the the uncool kids that didn't smoke (and on top of that I wore baggy jeans), but I'm pretty sure the second hand smoke got to me at some point. The apartment that we all spent so much time hanging out in, in so many ways seemed to change us from just friends to family. We had each others backs, but when we fought, we fought like siblings it seemed. It was an amazing couple years, but like any season, it wouldn't last forever, but he simple quote of "change is good" keeps resounding in my head tonight.
The day I left was a tough one. It seems too far away to me now and I feel the need around this time of year to hold onto it tight, to not let it go. The years between then and now are becoming longer. The tears I cried in my car as I drove away from my friends in the parking lot feel distant to me now but I still want to remember them, to feel their warmth on my cheeks. Now my life is consumed by an office job, being a mom, being a wife. I live a life of deadlines, diapers, and trying to fit back into my jeans. I don’t take any of those lightly, but sometimes I look back to remember where we all came from, those fateful days full of rain and creating. Those sleepless nights, not due to having an infant in the house, but because we wanted to create some art that was worth something or at least meant something to us. We awoke every day just to keep going.
Little did I know that I would meet my husband a few days later. But, that’s a whole other ramble and blessing within itself.
So, if you were there all those years ago, thank you. Change is good, change is hard. But, I think we all find ourselves in good places even now, far away from the years before, far away from the ocean shore and the late nights.
Just, thank you.