7/365

Do you ever have moments that you wish you could go back to and just relive them? This photograph was taken a few years ago while I was staying with a friend in Spain. It was the third year I had been there. I took the experience for granted.

I wish I could go back and just live it again. Breathe in the salty ocean and the taste of fresh seafood. It’s unlikely that I’ll ever get another photograph with all of them. What I would give for one more night on the coast in Ea.

Memories like this serve as a reminder to pay attention each day. You never know what you’ll miss until it’s gone.

Life is in the Mundane Moments

There’s this promise I keep making myself. Every few months it comes back and I remember. Deep down I always want to write more. Creating content is a huge passion of mine and, on days where I’m digging for ideas, I go back through old photos or blog posts. When I see old faces of friends I had and the places I’ve been, I always wish that I had written more or taken more pictures.

In fact, there’s a greater promise that I make when I see older pictures: I want to make an effort to live more, to feel more alive, and to appreciate what I have. When I look back, those seem to be the traits that I lack. Why wasn’t I happier? What kept me from taking those opportunities? Why didn’t I appreciate what the people around me?

There’s something that has to be realized from this though. Each time I make that commitment to foster those traits, I put it off into the future. I say “I’ll be more alive when I’m out with friends or when I’m doing something”. “When something exciting happens, I’ll take it all in and be appreciative of it”.

Well, that’s the problem there: I’m waiting for an exhilarating experience before I appreciate what I have. Rather than enjoying mundane day-to-day life, I’m waiting for a huge moment. Like having a wonderful night with friends or exploring the town. I’m craving more, more, more.

In retrospect, those huge moments were great. Last month I got to meet an amazing group of photographers, I definitely won’t forget that. Even bigger than that, I got to live for another month. Each day I got out of bed and went to work. I pushed myself and blogged. The days were not distinct; they mesh together into one giant experience. I cannot differentiate last Tuesday from last Sunday.

However, I will miss last those days more than any of the big moments. Laying in bed for a few extra minutes, walking to work, things like wearing sweatshirts because the temperature is dropping.

These moments don’t happen overnight. They creep up and slowly encompass your life. Going to night shift is a total lifestyle change but you don’t really notice it. It happens with time. One day I will look back and see the significance of it but at the moment I can’t see it. It’s too mundane.

Meeting new people is the same way: it doesn’t feel significant. Hanging around your best friend each day doesn’t feel special – it’s just how life is. Then, with time, it changes. In years you’ll back at the friendship and see its value. But, for the moment, you’re too close to it. It’s all happening in front of your eyes.

See, life is happening around you. Each day, you’re making memories. They may not be distinct but you’ll remember them one day. You’ll look back and miss waking up and getting ready for work in ten minutes flat.

That promise I made to feel more alive, to live more, and to really appreciate what I have – that starts now. It begins with having an appreciation for what I have. If that’s sleepless nights, cold mornings, and long days, then I have to accept it for what it is. I can’t wait for spectacular moments; that’s not where life is.

Our experiences are built over time. Friendships don’t happen overnight and books aren’t written in one week. You can only walk forward one step at a time. Rather than saying you’ll feel more alive in the future, and disregarding how you feel now, you should enjoy the mundane. Life isn’t in one-of-a-kind experience, it’s in the day-to-day. Find that and you’ll find yourself.

356/365

Losing Your Meaning

We attach to memories in any way that we can. Internally, we’re scared of forgetting. We always want to remember the good times we’ve had with friends and the moments that we think have made us who we are. This attachment is so strong that we obsess over objects that remind us of our memories.

When someone dies, it’s common for loved one’s to keep clothing or anything that still smells like the person. We keep birthday cards, old letters, mixtapes our friends made, anything. We attach because we don’t want the memory to fade; we don’t want to forget.

Last year I had a rough time for many months. Music was one of the ways that I got through each day. I’d put on world’s end girlfriend and just listen. There was something chaotic about it that seemed to calm my mind. It defined my day-to-day life because in every free moment I had, music was playing.

Those old songs have come back on shuffle occasionally and the memories flood back in. I remember how hurt I was, how long the days were. Even more, I can’t stop playing the songs. I want to remember it all, to feel it again but to experience it in a different way.

The thing about these objects we attach to is that they are just object. They physically mean nothing. It’s just old clothing, paper and ink, and songs. At a base level, these objects have no significance – they’re just placeholders for a greater emotion.

What’s interesting is the more time we spend experiencing these objects, the more that they just become meaningless objects. That’s why the the more you eat your favorite meal, the less significant it becomes. The more you smell the clothing of that person you love, the less that you can smell it. It fades. The more that I listen to this music, the more that the old memories disappear.

I don’t know our relationship with objects and memories. What I do know is that I don’t want these thoughts to go away. I want to remember these emotions, the smells, the happy and the sad. The greater that I desire them, the more elusive they become. You can’t experience one emotion forever and you cannot live completely in the past. You can only look backwards, never walk backwards.

354/365

Oct. 19/ Forgive Me

Nights like tonight I can’t sleep. I’m haunted at the last year and I can’t get it out of my head. I’m forced to relive moment by moment what happened. It starts with an younger version of me swimming in a pool everyday. I feel all of the last year in the pinhead of a needle. There isn’t room to breathe it all in because there’s so much that’s happened. I can’t refine it into single pieces. It’s all of it – at once. This insanity ensues and I find myself holding my knees in my bed and gasping for breath often. I can’t contain it, it’s too much.

One day it starts, and I’m living some part of the year. I can’t start there, it’s not the beginning, so it rewinds even further… back to the pool. The nausea of driving to the recruiter in the mall. Failing Broadcast journalism. Driving to Milwaukee and meeting with Greg for the first time in years. Walking around the mall with him. There isn’t a way to filter the details from the overall message. I feel the details and I can’t hold them all. There’s only so much mental room. It’s like I don’t have enough RAM and the memories lags.

Meeting Blake, relaxing with Caleb at Basic, Keesler, and Sheppard. The feeling of the October wind in Texas. It’s too much, god it’s too much. Sobbing at the pet fair in Biloxi. Walking at the ocean. Meeting others. Moving. I’m holding all the details and at a loss. I’m trying to contemplate the entire ocean, every crest and wave break. Each drop and the darkest depths. I feel its motion inside me and I’m entranced. There is too much to hold onto and not enough to let go of.