Without school to keep me crazy stressed and grounded in a routine, I have more free time. Because of this, I’ve turned into a regular customer at nearly every bookstore in town, a daily writer situated in the deep corner of my nearest Barnes and Noble, a wanderer at Target and an unhealthy buying machine at T.J. Maxx. Some would say I’ve stepped into a much different routine, a much more dangerous and yet enthralling one.

All this to say, I spent my time tonight searching through old pictures from high school and my first year of college in Santa Barbara. We seem to assign our pasts as either wretched places we’re happy to have moved away from or blissful moments we will spend the rest of our lives gawking over, in relentless nostalgia.

No one really listens to the guy always reminding us that we tend to only capture the remarkable seasons of our lives, the memories we want to remember, frame and show off to our future selves.

As my birthday encroaches and I think about the process of crawling into technical “adulthood,” I want to be sure to steer as far away from remorse as possible. To have lived and captured and felt those memories is enough for me.

I have no real desire to inch my way back towards the pictures depicting who I was and what I was going through. Between the snapshots of smiles and old friends, teams and school dances, there was a whole lot of confusion and unanswered questions, heartbreaks and insecurities.

I’m grateful for these pictures, to remind me and to easily pull me back into lives and loves that no longer dwell in my immediate heart space. But I’m more grateful for who I am because of them. I’m thankful to have become stronger.

Too much time to think is a painful and revealing process. Intentionally opening up your mind to wander is a dangerous endeavor.  If and when your mind drifts towards the past, and you find yourself skimming through old photos, I do hope you travel back in time. Reminisce on prior worlds you used to inhabit, so long as you find your way back to the one you’re currently in.

Remember old times for the beauty they declared and be encouraged to learn from the hastiness of what once was.

Be thankful for who you are now and how you got here. Be excited for where you’ll go next.

Look up every now and again. At your life here, in this second. Today.

Hold this moment a bit tighter, as you know full well the present will slip through your fingers nearly as fast.



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