From a young age we hear the phrase “monsters live under the bed.”
I wouldn’t necessarily call what lives under my bed “monsters,” I’d more so call them memories.
Under my bed are cards and mementos from people in my past.
But more interestingly, the space under my bed houses the journals I have written in since I was 13.
And recently I dove back into the latter half of the summer of 2011.
That was a summer I will never forget.
Many of the people between those lined pages are no longer a part of my life. Some by time, distance, and by their own hand.
But just because those people aren’t in my life doesn’t mean I don’t recall those marker-written memories with the utmost fondness.
I got to know one of my best friends, who I consider a brother, that summer.
I met a boy who spent almost the entire summer with me, I fell for, and he ended up breaking my heart.
I reread what would be my last memories working as a summer camp counselor.
I grew up a lot that summer.
I cruised down Ocean Avenue, doors and windows off, blasting Mac Miller and felt like I was on top of the world.
I did all of this and so much more that summer.
And those words. In their different colors page after page, bring me back to those days. Those afternoon soccer practices. Those nights spent on the beach.
Random symbols that we call letters, strung together to create a physical memory.
It amazes me the fears and fearlessness I exhibited at 16. I like to think I still have some of that girl in me.
The girl who was scared of her junior year and growing up too fast, but went forward with it.
The girl who lost some friends, said good-bye to others, and gained some along the way.
The girl who did things spur of the moment. And those spur of the moment days/nights ended up being the most memorable.
Some might think I live in the past and I should be cautious. But if we don’t live in our past from time to time, recall it, and learn from it, how are we supposed to better prepare ourselves for our future?
Maybe that’s why I wrote all of those words and write new ones now. To show to myself that what I thought was the end of the world then, really wasn’t. That I was stronger than I gave myself credit for.
Maybe I also wrote them to remember the good times with people who have walked out of my life.
Or maybe it’s to show me what an amazing life I have had so far and what’s yet to come will make my hand fly to my mouth as I gasp, “oh my gosh. I remember that!”