I’m turning 20 on Sunday. I was talking to a friend the other day about how we can become nostalgic about our own life, and how I already am getting nostalgic about my teen years, like they were long ago. But in reality, they were only a few years ago; this time last year; last week. Anyway, here are some moments I captured of them. They were spent in the sleepy towns and beaches of Tasmania, with friends as special as the sunsets and starry skies surrounding them. They were beautiful and cliche and exciting. And I know my twenties are going to be just the same.
My heart aches when I look at these pictures. Sometimes it’s because I long to be back in those moments, back on the chilly pink-skied beaches that make me feel alive, and the cold winter nights with stars brighter than anywhere on earth. But then I realise I can return to those moments whenever I like, wherever I am, because they are infinite in my memory. And sometimes my heart aches just because I’m so incredibly grateful and astonished that these moments happened.
Now that I’m living in Queensland, I sometimes think about my life in Tasmania and wonder ‘did that actually happen? Was that really my life? What did I do to deserve all of that beauty?’ and I feel like a little old lady daydreaming about her youth. My youth is still here, right in front of me, yet I feel the need to obsessively document it as it slips away.
Maybe it’s because society tells you to savour these days, to ‘live while you’re still young’ as if life stops once you reach a certain age, and all you do from that point on is daydream about the past. Like your life becomes redundant. I don’t believe that. I don’t believe that life and beauty and adventure is exclusive to being young. I really don’t. And I really hope I can keep that opinion, even when I’m obsessively documenting my age, my wisdom, and my wrinkles. Because they too slip away, and are beautiful in their own right.
Why is it laughable to say that I don’t want the words “I wish I was that young again,” to ever leave my mouth?