Nostalgia at 26
Hello nostalgia, old friend
Photography is such a wonderful medium, but for someone who has documented the last ten years of living through photographs, the past can be a haunting reminder of what used to be.
I talk about moving a lot. How it has changed me, pushed me out of my comfort zone. My past is almost unrecognizable to me, an easy thing to admit when you aren't proud of it. But your younger years are for the mistakes, for the regrets, for the opportunities to learn. And learn I did. At 21, I learned to become a feminist, to believe in myself and my fellow women. At 22, I learned that people will come in and out of your life and there is nothing you can do to stop it. At 23, I learned to be alone. Truly alone, in every sense of the word. Surrounded by strangers, unfamiliar settings, away from any comfort or support. At 24, I learned to love myself, and when it carried me up my first mountain, I finally learned to love my body. At 25, I learned to let myself be loved.
And here I am, two months into being 26. What have I learned? I have learned that what I will always long for is friendship. It has been three years and friendship is nostalgia in its most devastating form to me, having moved away from my closest friends. I have learned to say I am sorry, and to not make excuses. I have learned to not let people into my life that serve me a purpose other than to uplift and support me. I have learned to stand up for myself, to not cower in the face of intimidation or power. I have learned that I am in control of my day, my attitude, my outlook on life, my presence, my impact on the lives of those I interact with. I take every day as an opportunity to learn and to grow, always reflecting on my past but never regretting it. Missing it, but never longing for it.
So here is a glimpse into my past. A view of how I saw the world at 22, as soft, delicate, and welcoming.