Dear Alice,

As I sit in the same bookstore/coffee shop that I frequented when I was in college, I am flooded with memories. Most of them good, some of them not so good, but all of them very valuable.

It’s interesting, really, missing the person you used to be and being excited to meet the person you are becoming. On the one hand, I grieve that young boy who sat in this very seat, wrestling with things he didn’t yet understand. I feel for that kid who was entering the world of independence for the first time, eager to discover what the world had in store for him. I used to think he was stupid for dreaming so boldly. But I see now that he was wise beyond his years.

I often think about my 18 year-old self and I wonder how I managed to handle all the emotions I had at that age. The simple answer is that I didn’t. I would bottle them up and tuck them away to a secret part of myself, so secret that I wasn’t privy to the information stored in that place. It’s funny to think about now, that shy, reserved boy became the person I am today.

I wish I could go back and have a conversation with him, I’m sure he’s got interesting things to say. Maybe one day I’ll be able to talk to my younger self, but for now, I will be happy to share his memories.

Memories are a powerful thing. They can heal and they can hurt, they can mobilize and paralyze. My memories usually just make me feel too many things at once.

I recently found a picture that my high school friends gave me. It features a collage of my face as Miley Cyrus’ wrecking ball from the Wrecking Ball video. I can’t believe that, after all these years (almost 10!) I still have it. It survived all the moves, hurricanes, decluttering attempts, and time.

I wonder why I kept it. I think it’s because it reminds me of a simpler time. I don’t necessarily talk to the friends that gave me that picture, honestly, I doubt any of them remember even giving it to me. I may not spend every day with them anymore, but I still keep up with them through the magic of instagram. They look happy and at peace with their lives. I’m glad they’re doing well.

I think I’m gonna end this one here, Alice. The chair at the coffee shop is getting uncomfortable and I don’t want to pay for parking. I’ll talk to you soon.



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