Why do I stay up late?
Why do I spend endless hours of the night and – sometimes, the early morning – yawning and blinking and doing aimless activities like making up blog posts and browsing Youtube instead of editing my endless Reflections for SPICE?
Why would I do this to myself, night after night, when I know very well that the best thing for my health and wellness would be to get to bed by 10pm and get some real sleep?
Well, I already know the answer. Truth is, I just needed a good hook for this post.
I do it because of the people. I do it for the conversations, for the reminiscing and the memories and the nostalgia. I do it because these late nights, these hours and hours of socializing and comfortable silences and midnight breakfasts, are exactly the kind of things that I want to remember about my summer experience at college. I want to remember the people, and the stories, and the moments. The laughter and the horror movie screaming and the sound of guitar strings strumming and snapping. The stolen moments in between a full-time job and time to one’s self are valuable, and sharing those valuable moments with friends only serves to increase the value for all who experience them.
A treasured memory is priceless even in the eyes of the few. Imagine having heaps and heaps of those “you had to have been there” moments. I have found that shared experiences are the best experiences.
When I go to art museums, I want to be with someone who loves art. Someone for whom the pieces mean something. Someone with stories. “That painting has always been my favorite of all his works.” “Why is that?” “Well, you see, my father…”
When I go out to eat, I want to go with a group of friends. Trusted, treasured friends who respect each other enough not to talk over each other – to really listen when someone has something to say – and yet friends for whom there are no awkward silences.
When I go camping, I want the unexpected to happen. I want the light rain to turn into a thunderstorm and drive us from the tent as it collapses around us. I want to spend hours driving through the rain in search of wi-fi hotspots as we wait for the storm to pass. I want to watch sunsets and sunrises and play soccer barefoot and sing along to all the songs on the radio.
Because life as it is – life in this moment – is about making memories.
Those memories don’t have to involve something illegal. They don’t have to be tied to anything dangerous or rebellious or just plain idiotic. Sometimes, it’s the small things that make the biggest impact, like sitting in an apartment living room at midnight making up fascinating stories about your day and building morals into those stories. As a good friend once said, everyone has a story – so then, tell it to me! Make me laugh. Make me cry. Make me feel the moment as you once did. Share a little piece of yourself with me, and I will keep it for you forever.
Some things about the day-to-day are like ice – they are there, but then they melt and fade and are gone or are turned into something else entirely. But these things – these memories and stories and moments – are meant to last. They survive in the deepest recesses of the mind and come to the surface when flashbacks are necessary.
These things. Are like potatoes.
Wait, you might not understand that reference. Eh, I guess you had to have been there…