Nostalgia is a powerful drug


photo via Sara Cassady

It used to be a large neon countdown in my head: 120 days until graduation. I would imagine how much better college would be: spending hours picturing doing classwork by day and partying by night. It was the light at the end of the tunnel. As long as I could survive the last year of high school, college would be awesome. Never mind that I don’t like parties and hate sharing a room. I would hop on a plane and this unfamiliar and magical place would allow me to become a totally different person. New adventures and people awaited. 

The last few months have allowed me to see how naive I was. My family is “my I have your back no matter what team.” Through every sleepless night and mascara-stained face, they were there to hold my hair back or just tell me to eat. Allowing me to grow, but there to offer support if I needed it. Front row for every weekend-long volleyball tournament, their love and affection never wavered. Leaving them behind, even if just temporarily, is not an option. 

They were the defining forces of my life. Mom and Dad gave me a childhood I cherished. I miss how simple it was to spend Saturday night watching Henry Danger with James or chow down on Wendy’s before I heard mom’s voice in my head telling me how many calories are in a “single with cheese.” I wish I could go back in time and reread Harry Potter and tell kindergarten me that gaining a little brother wouldn’t be that bad. Or give Grandpa another hug and appreciate the graham crackers and milk he didn’t actually like but bought anyway because I did. And warn middle school me that losing a friend may hurt, but it won’t last forever. 

 I crave the simplicity of a time when my biggest concern was Dad being late to pick us up or what Mrs. Weaver was making for lunch. I should have soaked up every memory while I had the chance.  The days I spent playing kickball and eating ice cream sandwiches seem like they happened in another life, completely different from the person I grew up to be. 

Totally separate from the caffeine addicted, part-time job working, college-accepted human who is doing her best to become a fully functioning member of society. We all miss the people we used to be, but they help shape the person we are today. A person who is trying their best, which is really all anyone could ask for.