Vignettes and Sepia-Toned Polaroids

Saturday, January 4, 2014

happy 2014. cheers to happy memories.

This has been a topic that's been brewing around in my head for a while now. I've been thinking constantly about what makes memories so beautiful; there is a mysterious temptation I have to sometimes get wrapped up in memories. Maybe because I had a really magical/imaginative/adventurous childhood, but I love thinking back on times past. I try not to dwell on the past, or wish I had done something differently, I just sometimes like to watch memories like movies and remember all the good times.

One day over Christmas break, it came to me: the reason memories are so beautiful. I was sifting through a pile of old Polaroids of my mom when she was little, and I suddenly realized that memories are like old photographs; they age well. My memories in particular, I noticed after coming to this realization, have little lacy vignettes around the edges and are a golden-sepia color, like amber. Sometimes they have red wine or coffee spilled on them, sometimes they are faded as if they had been sitting out by a window too long, sometimes they are dark and black as if they had been overexposed during development. Nevertheless, I tend to romanticize the past the further away it gets, and I think that there are advantages to this.

Fore example, I only remember the really fun, good times from high school. I know that during it sometimes I was a wreck because I tended to over-commit. But when I think back to high school I remember watching She's The Man with my best friends for the first time. I remember sitting in my room reading Catcher in the Rye and totally relating to Holden Caulfield (I know, of all the literary characters to relate to...). I remember the shaving cream war and Latin club and the time we (almost) lit chem lab on fire and pep rallies and bottom lockers and hanging out in the parking lot after 6th period and reading the part of Cecily from The Importance of Being Earnest in English. And all those memories are stored away in shoe boxes in my brain getting better with age.

After reading this you might assume that I live in the past. I don't live in the past so much as I tend to live in my head (New Year's Resolution: pay attention to what is happening around me. What.) because I romanticize the past. I try to only remember the good. Even the bad times, bad decisions, and sad or unfortunate occurrences I look at not as black holes, but as times to learn from, to improve upon, to make a different decision on in the future. Those memories may not be sepia toned, but they are there as small reminders and motivation to get on my feet again and improve. So, in this very first post of 2014, I wish all of you sepia-toned memories of the people you've encountered and the events you've been a part of, good and bad, so that in the future, in 2014, the memories will be sweeter still. Cheers.

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