Old photos have brought on a resurgence of familiar feelings for me over the past few days.
Typically, scrolling through memories of people and places past would leave me sad and melancholy, but I've experienced enough of that for a lifetime and I'm not letting those feelings overcome me anymore. I'm welcoming this revival of adventure and warmth.
I remember this day as the first big day trip I shared with someone I wasn't dating. We didn't have a plan, but we had each other, and our cameras, and later on we had extremely rare cheeseburgers and beer in a warm restaurant. I remember how badly I needed this day. Winter was still lingering in mid-March and the temperature dropped drastically that night, but it felt really good and invigorating to be out on the beach under the cerulean sky watching the matching waves until the sun fully set and you could no longer tell where the ocean started on the horizon. I remember taking Polaroids on a playground and feeling full of love. It was a long trip back home but time and distance didn't worry me at all that night. I just wanted to feel it all.
Life gets so strange as you get older. Sometimes doing what you have to do in order to grow as a person means saying goodbye to certain people who aren't congruent to your journey, leaving the place you spent your whole life entirely, and feeling kind of empty in spirit and experience. I personally have suffered a lot with self-doubt, turned to self-loathing and extreme guilt about the people and places I've left behind. But I'm learning that to successfully develop mentally and spiritually, you have to let go of these negative feelings. They were there, they were felt, and you move onward with only the knowledge you gained from the situation to help strengthen and guide you down the road. No more blame, no more resentment, no more grievances.
Going through these photos has been a cathartic experience for me. I hadn't felt real in months up until recently, but that was just my clouded perception of my life and myself and past decisions weighing me down. I will not dig up skeletons, I will not call you and apologize for what I had to do, I will not project myself or my healing process onto anyone. I will honor the memories as they pass and remember the brilliant places that I've been and the beautiful people that I've known with nothing but love and well wishes.
I am real and I am light. I am feeling like myself again and I'm open to what the universe has planned for me next. I am lucky to have these fleeting moments captured. I am lucky to have lived at all.