It's incredible how insanely easy it is just to...forget.
It's bad enough that you can lose the most important parts of your life in your prime. But what happened to all those childhood memories, the ones that are fuzzy and stilted, saved only in photographs and home movies? What about the things you only hear family members talk about? How is it that you lived through those moments, too, but they really made no true impact on you? Some things stand out, but the specifics are largely gone.
And what will happen when I get older? What happens when I get busy, get overwhelmed, stop writing things down and taking pictures and committing them to memory?
I guess I just need to get on my game now. And never let that happen. Not again.
I don't let anyone read what I've written. Well, almost no one. I haven't given my mom or dad a poem or story to read in years. And it was only this past year that I was forced to allow a class of my peers read my short stories, and found the confidence to read part of my pet project to my roommate at school. Hell, I'll even post my writing online and let complete strangers critique my work. These people don't know me, but I trust them to give me an honest opinion.
I remember the good old days. I would sit outside in the backyard, long into the summer night, spending my day reading until the bug bit me (early on), when I'd switch to my chosen notebook and chosen story, and get to work. I hate dozens of books, filled with the beginnings of dozens of stories, sequels, poems, doodles, scripts. I let my friends help me write. I explained plots to my parents (and anyone else who would listen). I wrote fanfiction (though I didn't know what it was called) and I was damn proud of it. I was A WRITER. It would start to get chilly as the sun set behind the trees, so I'd grab a blanket and curl up on the lounge chair and write until the light was gone. I'd sprawl on my bed, sit at my desk, spread out at the kitchen table.
Now, the first time a foreign set of eyes falls on my words, they usually belong to someone who may or may not give me the chance at publication. No family, no friends - strangers. And not just strangers. These are the editors that hold my livelihood in their hands. I let the most important people in my impending career read my work before I let the woman who gave birth to me skim even the title page.
I miss that freedom, writing everything, everywhere, in front of God and everybody. There's less than a month left of my summer vacation - I'll try to recapture the magic.
I'm studying abroad this semester. In less than a month, I will officially be living in a castle in the Netherlands. I don't speak Dutch. I forgot most of my French. I still need to pack. I need to book flights and hostel space and make sure all my papers are in order. I need to steer clear of Russia, because "Let's Go Europe" seems to think I'll end up dead if I go there.
HOLY CRAP I'M GOING TO EUROPE. I am excited to the point of insanity and woefully unprepared.
But I'll be purchasing a Guy Fawkes mask for my hopeful trip to London on November 5th. Remember, remember...