I’ve recently been dwelling on my high school years. Big surprise there. I am equally sick of myself for being so textbook and thoroughly impressed with every coming of age movie for so adequately capturing this senior-specific nostalgia. For the past few months, the tinier version of myself that lives in my brain has been in a goddamn frenzy, making sure that I’m processing this impending life transition on schedule. I always check in on myself when big life changes are soon due. When my best friend was a senior last year, I made myself process her leaving for college that September by thinking intense thoughts when we hung out, like “IT WILL NOT BE LIKE THIS ANYMORE SOON, SHE WILL BE GONE, OH HOW COLD THE NIGHTS SHALL SOON BE WITHOUT THE WARMTH OF OUR FRIENDSHIP,” and then I’d Snapchat her pictures of my subsequent tears. By her graduation in May, I had totally made peace with it, while her other friends were wrecks. If you don’t let this coping mechanism take you completely out of the present, it’s actually a pretty handy tool for processing your feelings. I’m utilizing it now with tenfold power.
My miniature brain-dwelling self keeps throwing random Marlborough memories at me, making sure I am savoring them. I then reflect, let the tiny pangs in my heart happen and go on with my day. I guess the logic is that if I’m met with an unprecedented memory of these years when the entirety of my high school experience is already behind me, those tiny pangs become mighty seas of nostalgia, and I’d be out of whack for a much longer time than if I made sure to do all my reflection now.
The memories that spawn such angst don’t necessarily have to be good, either; I can and probably will continue to romanticize the time I projectile vomited Pressed Juicery in the downstairs bathroom at 8 a.m. because some 11 dollar cold-pressed celery piss hadn’t gone down well that morning. If I hadn’t preemptively reflected on that lovely moment, it could come up post-graduation, and I think I’d genuinely need to lay down. Nostalgia makes me crumble in a stupidly intense way. I think others are like this as well, at least a little bit, but please feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if I sound unfounded or hysterical.
I do like this intense bout of reflection, though. Because I am separated from you all, it’s really done me much good. See, you all could be little monkeys in my computer, pretending to be real people in online school while aliens kidnap my friends in the night. Or you could all just be hanging out without me, which I hope you are not. But memories can reanimate anything and anyone. When I think back, you are all fleshy, whole beings again, all within true reach. There is something I really like about that. In these times which feel both ridiculous and numbing, I am entirely comforted by memories of projectile vomiting, ARC naps, out-of-uniform shoes, and other treasures.