ever since

I’m doing an isolation journal prompt series and welcome you to join! I’m only sharing responses to prompts that feel acceptable enough to share (don’t involve others for example).

Prompt:

Pick five time periods, ages, or moments from your life—they can be spread out or all clustered together. Don’t think too hard about your choices, just write down the first one that comes to mind and move to the next. 

Example:
1. First grade.
2. Jr. high.
3. Sleeping in a Buick (age 17).
4. Stripping in Texas (age 20).
5. Getting sober (age 25).

With me so far? Feeling admiration for my life choices? Great! 

Next pick a song to pair with each moment. Again, try not to think too hard. Let it be a gut thing. Example: Jr. High—“Mother” by Danzig

Now write a quick and dirty paragraph about each one. Then take the one that feels most interesting to you and expand it.

I’m going to cheat and modify this by picking only one period to focus in on.

  1. First year of college (18/19) > “Holocene” by Bon Iver
  2. Meeting my birth mom (13) > “More than Fine” by Switchfoot
  3. Teammate’s car accident (16) > Just silence. No real song comes to mind.
  4. Graduating UNC (21) > “Old Pine” by Ben Howard
  5. Nomading (23) > “Feels – Jai Wolf Remix” by Kiiara & Jai Wolf

I wonder sometimes if I’m as brave as my younger self. Sometimes I don’t think I am. I showed up a few days early to college– an on brand act for my anxious self. My mom and I fought before leaving making our arrival anti-climatic. I remember it all feeling fragile and new yet comforting. My dorm room felt so nice. I didn’t miss home. It was my first time experiencing the transformative power of changing situations and how often that simply looks like emptiness doubling as a chance to restart. I remember buying preppy clothes knowing I needed to play a part to fit in only to quickly switch to my athletic attire and never look back a few days in. I couldn’t be bothered to waste time not being myself. It didn’t feel right.

So much happened my first year of college: a new sport, coming out to myself and my friends, my first real job, living in a new city, tearing my ACL, a routine lifting habit, my first party, my first girlfriend, and my first breakup (ha). I randomly became vegetarian for about 18 months much of which lasted during my first year. I look back on how much happened in a year a bit stunned — my years feel much tamer in comparison. It felt a bit like I threw everything up in the air and trusted myself to catch that which mattered most to me when I needed to. That first year set the stage for the ones to come. I chose to walk towards what scared me and it seems that I’ve been doing that ever since.

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