It’s the way it smells at dusk in the fall time. I’m back in my high school cheer uniform on the field waiting for kickoff.
It’s the reason I can’t make myself walk past a tailgate spot in front of the pharmacy building or sit at the bar at Red Clay. All at once I’m a senior in college and falling in love for the very first time.
It’s the green flannel I stole from my Dad and wore for a year straight because I was so homesick.
It’s the first house my sister and I lived in just the two of us.
It’s a care package from my mom I got my freshman year that was addressed “to my sweet Auburn girl”.
It’s the first memory I have of an uncle who married into my family and I think the world of- A Kenny Chesney song played over a Walkie Talkie as we all caravanned down the interstate towards vacation in Savannah.
It’s a Ben Rector song that I heard freshman year on a road trip to Tifton, Georgia with my three best friends.
It’s the reason my heart flutters when I see exit 351 up ahead on I65 North. I find myself thinking back to driving home from college, jamming out to Taylor Swift in my Jeep with my sister and being so ecstatic to surprise my parents.
N o s t a l g i a.
My family likes to joke that I got all of the emotions for myself, and my brother and sister as well. I feel things so deeply I can’t help but think that might be true. But I think the one that pains me the most is nostalgia. I can dwell on things.
I physically ache remembering things good or bad, and can still cry over getting my heart broken almost three years ago. Memories are so strong in my head it feels like just yesterday.
I sat on my porch last night writing letters to people who I am about to leave. Writing letters and reminiscing on all the memories I have made on that front porch over the past two years.
A “hurricane” day that my roommate and I sat on the porch for all day listening to silly music and watching the wind blow.
A night I got locked out and sat on the porch for HOURS waiting for my roommate to let me in and crying because I’d seen a boy I liked with another girl.
Many late nights spent journaling, dreaming, praying over a list of places I thought I would end up after Grad school. Many nights spent crossing those places off as rejection emails rolled in.
Crossing names off as people walked literally off of my porch and out of my life.
Adding names as people showed up and forced themselves inside the walls I had built around myself.
I’m legitimately texting a friend right now talking about how self-sabotaging it can be to carry around nostalgia on my sleeve.
How deep into a funk do memories take us? How do we find the balance of utilizing our emotions, but in a way that doesn’t set us back?
But then again, don’t the best writers mope around? Don’t the best stories come from a heart that has felt both pain and sadness and joy and pure love?
I don’t know. I don’t know the answer to that question.
Wasn’t it emotion and rawness that made Hemingway’s work so beautiful?
I think so.
Emotions are a joy and a curse. I’ll probably cry as I pack up my room, remembering silly nights spent laughing and arguing over what to watch on Netflix. I’ll probably never order a drink with Wild Turkey in it again because it’ll jog my memory of my last semester of graduate school. And I’ll forever be back on a long weekend when I hear Maggie Rogers playing.
N o s t a l g i a: A sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past. Typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.
Front Porches. Find me on mine soaking it all up and wishing I could go back. Overcome with emotion and believing its okay.