“the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the lost places of your past.”

Brooklyn Bridge, New York City (2013)
Brooklyn Bridge, New York City (2013)

The theme this week seems to be missing Philly, and New York City.

Whenever I look at this photo, I am transported back to spring 2013.

It breaks my heart.

March 26, to be exact, just three days after my 22nd birthday. This was another brief visit to one of my favorite cities in the world, one I’ve visited plenty times in the 3.5 years I was in Philly. The goal was to watch a Broadway show, but somehow we ended up walking along the streets of Brooklyn and before we realized it, we were on the walking path of Brooklyn Bridge. In typical Big Apple fashion, there were hundreds of people and we tried not to lose sight of each other.

Two girls, two guys and the city that never sleeps.

The day before was disgusting – wet, gloomy and cold – but this particular day was breathtakingly beautiful. Sunny, clear skies and despite the tension-filled morning, by the afternoon we were much more relaxed. It was spring break after all – being pressed for time was definitely not in the agenda. We had too much to eat and needed to timeout – a supposedly short walk seemed like a fantastic idea. “But we’re already here,” I pointed out to them when we realized exactly where we ended up, “Why not? Let’s cross it!” So we did.

We walked along the bridge, stopping occasionally to take photos and in the blur of that moment, I’d quickly snapped this photo. My favorite kind of photography, honestly, has always been landscape and solid structures. I love inanimate objects and often find myself marveling, ogling and in awe at massive engineering structures such as the above. They remind me exactly why I’m sticking to engineering school, problem sets and endless stressful quarters be damned.

This photo captured that day so succinctly.

The clear, blue skies. Beautiful, sunny day. The massive structure, firm and proud. The juxtapose of the backdrop of blue skies with the structural cobwebs is a sight to behold; man versus The Divine. Caged and liberation. Inside, looking out. The past, divided by an impenetrable anatomy.

I was with three of my closest friends, the best kind of company. For a split second, reality hit – I remembered that this was the last time. A sense of an ending. If this was the end, I thought to myself, then it was glorious. The best way to close a chapter. I smiled, and continued to walk beside them.

Now I’m here, and this yearning, pining and ache – my heart hurts.

I refuse to allow myself to fly back to Philly for Thanksgiving or December break, even if for once, time will be on my side. Apart from the expensive flight ticket, I’m much too aware that it’s an emotional decision – I refuse to allow myself to go ahead with this. I’ve asked myself, “Is this how it always will be? Will I always pine and yearn for the years that have passed, for the has been and what was?”

I want to toughen up – to overcome. It’s that word again; have you contemplated about it, too?

Then there’s another truth – I’m scared. Forever the coward, perhaps I am scared to discover that friends I’m missing are in truth, chugging along in their lives just fine. Maybe I’m also scared of another reality – that perhaps what I’m yearning and pining for, is simply a figment of my memory.

Whatever that it is – it is no longer there.

I am no longer there.

“I tell myself, who became a memory;
I’m officially missing you.” 
– Team A or WINNER, Officially Missing You

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3 thoughts on ““the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the lost places of your past.”

  1. I started to read your previous posts and come across this one.It made me think how it always seemed to me that my past is better than my present and even my future.Life was easier, everything was better.
    Last year big part of my life ended.I graduated from school and everything I was used to disappeared. I wanted to embrace new life,but I never imagined that starting all over is hard.My new life was absolutely different from what I had imagined.It was hard to adapt and I missed my former life so much it hurt.I idealized my past so much that it was wrong.And then I met my former classmate who wasn’t frankly a good person. He reminded me that my life before was far from perfect. I felt somehow cheated.Everything I believed in for about 4 months was a lie.So now I decided to live in a present and try not to idealize my past.

    1. Hi paloma, you’re back! :) I understand what you mean and felt about the past and later feeling so cheated it hurts. Honestly between the nostalgic, idealistic past and the turbulent present I personally feel they’re hard positions to be at that it’s natural to feel the way we did and react as how we did (I reacted emotionally in the same exact way) but how could we not with the past, you know? Oftentimes it’s the good times which linger anyway, conveniently forgetting the past. I’m glad you’ve also come to learn that trying to make it in the present is far more important – at least, for our well-being. Thanks for sharing your story, I totally relate.

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