You know when you’ve grown up with something and you tell yourself that you’re never going to part with it? Like a security blanket you’ve had for years and still keep beside you when you sleep? What about a place so near and dear to you, you keep coming back to it, and consider it a second home? Or even people you whom you consider to be the best friends ever, that despite no blood-relation, you’re definite that they are family? All of these things tug at heartstrings so sensitive, that when the slightest memory of it is triggered, you’re all in shambles trying to pick up your sensibility.
But when all you can do is throw it back in pictures, with music, or in memory, you know that void’s always going to be there. That longing for it to happen again stays in you, and it manifests in different ways; you always want to hear the songs you listened to during that summer trip, or you want to talk about that time where you and your friends did the craziest of things back in 2009. When the time comes that you cannot go back to before, you will come to realize how precious those moments are to you. They may have helped you grow up and grow old beautifully, or they may have left a bitter taste in your mouth, but you always want it to stay with you. These are the milestones upon which you mark your seasons of new beginnings, of refreshment, of help, and of love.
I always get unnecessarily sappy and sentimental when I look at photos of my family, friends and I on summer vacations, special dinners and gatherings, of ordinary days at McDonald’s, or just chilling out at each other’s houses. Every time something of the sort comes up, I always remember to bask in the moment and take in everything as if it were the last party, or last gathering we’ll ever be in. There have been times that I have been right to think this way. In a matter of a year, things changed drastically, and I had to leave behind a lot of people and things. Last year would have been the last camp, the last retreat, the last subsidized party, and everything was all a blur. Sure, it knocked the wind out of me, but who would have thought that it brought bigger and better things?
The church I grew up in will always be in my heart. I have met so many friends, and learned so many things there. I attribute most of my academics-required skills to Sunday School. I have learned to become so much more confident at school because of growing up in camps, alongside the best (in my opinion) camp counselors and teachers ever. I have been fed spiritually, and have been fired up passionately. I yearned and dreamed of becoming a Sunday School teacher like the ones who have taught me, because I found much joy in it, and I wanted to share the same experiences I’ve had to the kids younger than I am. What I’m trying to say is, all of these events, people, and places that are now in my memory have helped me become the person I am now, and I have no regrets at all.
Remembering every single one of those defining moments is bittersweet, but I would love to come back to them any day. It paints a smile on face to remember the voices and laughter of my friends whom I consider my brothers and sisters; the radiant sunlight on our sweaty skins as we ran through the grounds on our treasure hunt; the intensity of praise and prayer during worship; from the car rides to dinnertimes, I will remember every single one of them.
When all I can do is throw it back, I won’t forget all of the people I’ve come to know and shared these experiences with. Yes, it brings me to tears every single time, I am a shallow crier. I love them, and I love every single memory I’ve had. I’m hoping for more of these memories in this lifetime to the eternal lifetime. I don’t think there’s anything better than spending it with the people I love the most.