Demetri Martin made this joke once about digital cameras. He said
"The digital camera is a great invention because it allows us to reminisce. Instantly."
I heard that joke when I was in the 9th grade and I thought it was hilarious (still do). I would imagine someone taking a selfie, immediately looking at it and going "Aw, look at how young I was!" It sounded ridiculous.
Fast forward eight years, and I'm doing the exact same thing with undergrad.
Reflecting on the last year, I feel I spent too much time trying to relive the past and not enough time living in the present. Imagine I'm walking down a path, and I see a cool looking tree with some awesome birds. So I take a selfie with the tree and birds. And I love the picture so much that I try to recreate the selfie. But in the time between pictures, the wind blows against the tree, the birds all fly away and are replaced with different but equally cool looking birds. I try again, but the picture isn't the same. I try again. I get frustrated. No matter how hard I try, I can't recreate the original selfie. The birds are different. Of course, it isn't all bad. At the end of the whole thing, I've still got a bunch of pictures with a cool looking tree and awesome birds. And I got really fucking good at taking pictures of birds. The trouble is that in spending all this time trying to recreate the perfect selfie, I've been standing in the same place. And I didn't realize that when the wind blew, the birds on the tree all moved to a different cool looking tree further down the path. If I had just kept going down the path, I could’ve gotten more cool pictures. Hell, they may have even been better pictures.
Moving on is hard when the memories are so good. All I think about is watching wedding videos on YouTube with all my roommates. Or the first time that Mirchi locked a cluster chord I put on paper. Or when I had Frita Batidos for the first time. For the rest of my life, Ann Arbor will serve as a reminder of the people and the birds who mattered to me, and still do. Of course I don't want to move on from that. I fell in love with life because of all of that.
But until I learn to keep following the path, I have to live with the frustration that my pictures, no matter how exceptional, won’t be and can’t be the first one I took. The moment that once brought me sheer happiness is now tainted by the sadness that I can never capture it again. And that’s okay. It's been a year since I graduated from college - I think I'm almost ready for some new scenery.
And birds. I fucking love birds.