How difficult it is to miss something that no longer exists, if it ever did at all. I often compare this feeling to how it felt when I learned about Santa Claus. I was late. It was the summer before I turned 12 and I will never forget the stomach-drop feeling of finding out that something so grounded in my reality wasn’t even true. That the whole adult world had conspired together to keep the belief in magic alive. Little did I know, life feels like that all the time. This was just my first taste of it.
The next time I really got that sucker punch feeling was when I moved to a big city. How many shows and movies can we list that depict it as some magical time of self-discovery? Even the ones that treat it with more honesty gloss over a lot of the realities. The entertainment industry conveniently leaves out how the simplest of tasks become difficult, like carrying your groceries home several blocks uphill, preventing you from buying anything more than a few days’ worth. They only show the apartment issues as some quirky, funny storyline, but the reality of losing heat in the winter isn’t so cutesy when you’re sick and can’t get to sleep. They don’t talk about how difficult it is to relate to people who aren’t going through the same things, or how painful it is to use a good amount of money and PTO just to see your family twice a year. They also don’t usually end with the person realizing all of the idealism is a bunch of crap and moving somewhere else is a good idea. Like yeah, fine, maybe I didn’t become Carrie Bradshaw, but I can’t explain the thrill I get just from being able to load up my trunk with groceries or go to a small business and know the owners.
I’ve found relationships to fall into this category too. I know there’s enough out there on this topic, so I’ll be brief. I don’t think it’s supposed to feel like a roller coaster with the dramatic ups and downs that are also portrayed onscreen. I know roller coasters are fun, but then there is always that exhaustion at the end of a day. Those thrills get tiring after a while. The ride home is where it’s at – comfort, safety, some good music and good food. And I think that’s how love should feel, like the ride home after a day at an amusement park. Where’s that movie?
So much has changed, and so much of it has changed me. The vices I had that once felt like armor have slowly shed away, flimsy and unthreatening. Groups of friends have fizzled out into their own paths. People who once knew everything about me no longer know even the most basic of details of my life. Old hangouts have been abandoned for new ones. All these things once made up everything I believed to be true at a certain time. Then like that one summer, it all just shifted into an old belief.
The funny thing about getting older is that despite always being the oldest you’ve ever been, it’s so easy to forget that the growing and changing are still happening. I wonder how much of my world that exists today will be another memory in just a short amount of time. Just have to keep enjoying the roller coasters while they last and relish in the peace on the rides back home.