As usual, the first day of the month has caught me by surprise. I distinctively remember the 1st of August and wondering where July went. I suppose it went into scorching hot mornings, and late summer evenings drinking white wine, and playing board games with the boys, and scampering about unknown cities. Then came August and saying good bye to Berlin. I recall sitting at the Brandenburg Gate for the last time and thinking about the first time I went there – when it was a bit rainy and cold, and I watched people doing the Cupid Shuffle while feeling excited and alive, but also a little bit unsure about what I was doing. Then I bought my artwork from Alejandro, got lost on the metro, and realized I should probably invest in an umbrella. (I never did). September came with Spanish sunshine, and losing myself in cobblestone paths, and drinking too many glasses of Tinto de Verano. Now it’s November and I don’t know where October went. It just went and now it’s gone and I’m left with this familiar conviction that life moves too fast for my liking.
Because it does, doesn’t it? Life simply moves too terribly fast. I keep looking about me in a panic wondering if I’m seeing everything that I can possibly see, and feeling everything I can feel; saying what I want to say, and doing what I want to do. It feels like I’m running out of time to do everything. That even if I spend my whole life trying, I’ll never be able to do everything I want to do. Before I know it, it will be Christmas and then a whole new year, and then I’ll probably wake up one morning to find myself married with kids wondering where my twenties went.
It’s a strange sensation to look back at your life and all that has happened. I find myself looking through photos and reflecting on biking through Central Park in the falling leaves, jumping through puddles on Wall Street, standing in the middle of Times Square watching the opera, and having to spend the whole night at the airport. Or lying on my bed in my pajamas in the middle of the afternoon wondering if I should book my ticket to Europe, and trying to piece my heart back together after my grandpa died, and sitting with my grandma on those cold winter nights drinking tea, and walking to the bus in the rain with a broken cheetah-print umbrella. Or jumping off a bridge in Auckland, and sitting in the sand watching the sunset by myself on Good Friday, and eating ice cream in front of the Sydney Opera House listening to a guy play the guitar. That was all life, and it happened to me whether I wanted it to or not. I know it happened because I have proof in the pictures and things I wrote in my journal, but it feels so long ago and sometimes it feels like it happened to somebody else.
It’s just weird to think about life passing by. Like when you’ve been sitting at your desk, staring at the same tree for weeks and weeks, only to look out the window one day to suddenly notice that all the leaves are orange and everything’s changed. Or when you’re walking the same path to the bus stop every morning and suddenly notice that all the flowers have bloomed and you can’t help but think ‘when did that happen!?’ It’s funny how you hardly notice the process of change…you only look back and that’s when you realize that everything’s different.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about what it will be like to return home. I worry sometimes that I won’t fit in anymore, that I’ll feel trapped or somehow lonely for the rest of the world, or that my sisters will have all these memories and experiences that I won’t be able to relate to. But I remember talking to them on skype back in September – all four of us at the same time – and it was exactly how it always was only this time I was on the other side of a computer screen. I keep telling myself that there are some bonds in this world that are stronger than time or distance, and I’m starting to believe it. In any case, it’s comforting to think that no matter where I go, no matter where they go, no matter how much the world changes me and how much it changes them too, they will always be my sisters. Nothing will ever change that. And in a world where everything’s constantly changing, it’s awfully nice when some things stay exactly the same.