This morning started out like most mornings in Seattle: rain lashing the windows of my apartment. Unlike most mornings–it being Saturday–I had the luxury of rolling over until the sun was properly risen–behind the clouds–and the rain subsided. The message was clear: it is Autumn.
Autumn on the weekends mean sweatshirts. I’ve never been one of those girls who considers brunch a reason for makeup and blouses. To me, weekend means relaxation of all weekday routines and an increase in general comfort. When I went into the closet, I passed by the new Trail Blazers sweatshirt from Portland and my colorblock Parisian choice, settling on a navy sweatshirt crossed with a giant white X. Suddenly, my mind was propelled back in time.
One year ago, I was in Scotland. It was a Friday afternoon, and I was tucked into a pub with friends after a long train ride north. We had stepped onto the platform into a frigid November day, with crystal blue skies and a light but biting wind. Hiking up to the Royal Mile, we assembled ourselves into our little flat, taking care to turn the heat up and ensure a toasty return. Then, we ventured forth: a handful of pubs, one delicious meal of rabbit and potato, and a chilly walk through a dark but breathtaking city center lead us to pints of cider and live music. I was surrounded by some of my favorite people: people who brought joy into my heart, whom I felt comfortable around, and who I was blessed to have in my life.
What a difference a year can make.
I often find myself wandering back into Last Year, thinking almost wistfully of horrid Accounting lectures and the boredom of International Marketing class… funny that I ended up in Marketing after all. Sometimes, I note dates by their -365 equivalent: how happy I am versus then, how adventurous my life is when compared, or simply how much I feel the constant ache of missing London and a year that no one could possibly appreciate as much as it begged appreciation.
This isn’t uncommon for me, as I spent most of the first two years after graduating undergrad doing the same. I’d painfully keep track of my present life on a calender from my past. I remember the first time I realized something had occurred on the past calendar which I hadn’t noted in my present, and realized I was letting go.
I wonder if that will ever happen with my first year in London. Will I ever want it to? Can I stop it?
I don’t need to live that life again: it was beautiful and precious in its uniqueness. We–my classmates and I–captured every moment we could, between the group assignments and final presentations. We traveled frequently, ate and drank glutinously, and laughed heartily. I just wonder how long the memories will bring forth a sharp pang in the left side of my chest.
It’s nice to know I have a heart, but damn it hurts sometimes.
The rest of that weekend in Edinburgh exists in my memory on parallel with the picturesque Friday evening: haggis for breakfast, castles and closes, lochs and an isolated and beautiful pub meal with the best sticky toffee pudding I’ll ever have in my life. It is one of the highlights of my year in Europe as the first trip I took out of England. I wish I could say it is irrevocably marked, but I fear nothing is so permanent. Probably the greatest moment to look back and appreciate it with the acuity of emotions and clarity of inner eye is the moment I have now.