There are moments when I find myself sitting alone in my bedroom, laptop perched precariously on my knees, right around the time I’m supposed to be falling into a deep sleep … but instead, I’m looking through old photos. Perhaps to set the mood I’ll have a bit of Jimmy Eat World playing. You know, mood music.
Oh yes, don’t you remember that one time? I do remember it, long for it, romanticize it, and then I get nostalgic. Perhaps tears will leak out the corners of my eyes, and I’ll hope no one’s up to hear me sobbing at 1 a.m. in my bedroom. Looking back at these moments, I find them so perfect, so wonderful, so happy and joyful and everything life should be. I don’t think about the imperfection hidden in the photos: the impatience before the shot, the upset stomach I had that day, how everyone was sweating profusely on that swelteringly hot summer’s day.
This is easy to do. Nostalgia can be engrossing, even addictive. And really, there’s little harm in remembering the past every once in a while, as long as it doesn’t overtake my life. My problem is I never seem to appreciate these events while they’re happening.
I’m on the brink of some major changes in my life: getting married, moving to Madrid, starting a new life with Mario. It’s everything, all at once. It’s exciting and scary and overwhelming and weird and challenging and wonderful. It’s what I want; it’s what I don’t want. It’s what I need; it’s what I don’t need.
I often forget to be purposeful. This time, though, I need to be just that. I need to be nostalgic for the present, for the life I’m living now and about to start living in fewer than ten days.
But those ten days do separate me from the beginning of that life, and so I will start now, not then. I will cherish the last few days I have here in Indiana before all the madness begins. I’ll cherish the just-planted endless cornfields of Indiana, the rapidly increasing humidity, the ability to take my dog on a walk, practicing Spanish with my mother, cooking for my family, and being.
Ready. Set. Go!