Now Playing: White Winter Hymnal by Fleet Foxes (and backward you would fall, and turn the white snow red as strawberries in the summertime)
Nostalgia is a strange thing, when you're seventeen. Because seventeen is so young, young enough for people to still be under the illusion that you haven't lived long enough or seen enough of the world or know enough about life to...look back and realise that different times of your life were so different to what it is now.
I remember the sun pouring into the spare room of a house that has since been pulled down and a new house built on top of the corpse of the place I once called home. I remember my childhood bed stacked away in that room, four mattresses piled on top of each other and I would sprawl across it in my nightgown with half a library scattered around me. I remember the smell of damp bitumen and eucalyptus leaves that streamed through my window with the warm winter sun after it rained...there was a certain feeling in that house, a certain atmosphere, a funny quality of light and airiness that I miss beyond words.
I had a different smell then, a different sillhouette - a little seven year old child too roly-poly and innocent to ever catch the eye of the people that I have grown to want and provoke wanting from; I smelled of blueberry shampoo and cherry chapstick and the metallic stench of blood from eternally scraped knees. It's really quite saddening to know that that person is long dead, dead and buried ten years ago, but I still have her memories and all the nights she hid in the toilets and cried herself to sleep still haunt me.
A friend of mine from that time-ish of my life and I recently got back in contact again and she sent me a link to a song from the Fleet Foxes and the picture of the Fleet Foxes that stared at me whilst I listened to this euphorically awesome song triggered a memory of a camping trip, somewhere in the middle of nowhere, deep in the lush green woods of the untold story of the Western Australian outback, where the days were cold and the nights were colder and everything smelled like smoke and sleeping bags and...I look so different, from pictures back then, and the people I met I'll never meet again and just...I don't know. It's interesting when you're old enough to look back and remember all the times that will never repeat itself, to relive the memories of versions of yourself that were murdered by time.
About a year ago I relapsed back into depression - it was a very brief, almost-forgotten about time, but my thoughts were darker than they had ever been and I was very very briefly suicidal. But the thing that saved me was the realisation - a very powerful moment of nostalgia and enlightenment that still kicks in every time that I even begin to think that things are getting too much - is that I have gotten through so much, that no matter how bad things had ever gotten and how horrible I have ever felt and how terrible people have treated me I always got through it, because something that was innate in me as a child that I am trying to re-brand onto my being as a talisman is a dogged determination, and faith in 'this too will pass'. I was the kind of kid who was so socially awkward that I was looking for a way out for stupid things like not finishing my homework or being late for school - and then acceptiong the inevitability of bad days and marching on to better times. This too will pass...it saved my life, last year, along with a strong dose of reality and Tom Stoppard and a midnight email.
I've never shared with anyone how important that frame of mind is. No matter how crap your day is or how bad you think your life has become, guilting yourself out of it by trying to sympathise with people dying of AIDS in Africa just doesn't work, especially if you have the misfortune of being part of the 9/11 generation like I am - terrorists have been destroying American architecture and Americans have been fighting pointless bloody neverending wars since I was five, and I have a bad case of compassion fatigue (don't we all). The suffering of the world and the absurd privilege that I enjoy makes me angry enough to be a feminist and an atheist but doesn't humble me enough to single-handedly drag myself out of depression. The thing that did, though is 'this too will pass' tatooed on my brain, branded on my heart, forever etched into my existence and my very being.
At the moment I don't think I'm in remission, exactly, because I still have the alarming ability to get very excited over the coffee that I buy every day and the ability to be angry at people other than myself, which is a defining characteristic of my depression - being mad at the world and then breaking down when realise that your anger at other people is a light aimed not at a person but at a mirror deflecting that rage back at you. But I am incredibly frustrated at the moment, and my darkest moments are not consumed by guilt or self-loathing but jealousy and the indescribably draining feeling devotion pouring out of you into nothingness.But some things remain the same. When I was younger and I was sad I had nobody to talk to but now...I have people and still nobody to talk to. They're either never there - absentee friends, nonevents that I am still somehow vaguely responsible for - or I can't talk to them for reasons too twisted to explain.
But this too will pass, I am always optimistic about that. The good, the bad, and the ugly...all of it will be gone, eventually, for better or for worse. I will never again read books in a room of a house that no longer exists any more, but eventually I will look back at all my seventeen year old woes from a time and place of new problems, but also a time and place where my current troubles are past problems. This too will pass.