My emo phase consisted largely of Yellowcard (whom I prided myself on knowing "before they were cool," namely before the mega-marketing of the single "Ocean Avenue"), and especially "Empty Apartment," "Only One," and the lesser-known "Rough Draft," on which song the plucking of acoustic guitar plucked my tween-age heart strings with the line: "Like Saturday night I'll be gone I'll be gone before you knew that I was there..." I just listened to the song again as I wrote this and have two thoughts:
1. As far as emo went, I was exceptionally tame
2. This song sounded much better in my head.
May is a month that goes by as quickly as it came for me, and this May shows no sign of deviating from that personal norm. The end of the school year is frenetic and the overwhelming anticipation of summer can turn your stomach and make you lose track of space and time. But there are still moments that I can remember.
For example, I'll never forget the day of my last AP exam in 2008: I got my hair done in the morning for prom because I'd be late if I went to the hair salon after the exam. So much to the amusement of my classmates, I took the AP Latin Lyric exam in my fully-coiffed glory (with three little white orchids in my hair), got my makeup done in Englewood, and then went to EL's for pictures before heading "off to the ball" at Capitale in the Bowery with my handsome prince at the time. (No surprise that my Cinderella story would include some sort of standardized test or academic twist).
I also remember pulling my first (and last) academic-work-related all-nighter in May 2011 in the company of JC and KYB, who, within two weeks of that all-nighter, would start dating. They're still together today, and whenever I see them in Boston, I always think back to that night and laugh at the memory of JC speaking in Chinese that night with a hilarious, heavily-caricatured southern accent.
In certain cases, I even recall specific dates from bygone Mays: May 4, 2008: the Long-Branch half-marathon. May 18, 2011: going to China for the first time. May 28, 2011: a Beijing birthday party that would change the next year and a half. May 10, 2012: my a cappella senior fantasy arch and a night of bartime adventures that would shape the final three weeks of college (for better and worse).
When these days and moments happened, I never knew they'd be the ones encased in amber, the ones I'd look back on with profound nostalgia and more than a little bit of heartache. There aren't enough pictures I can see or enough words that I can read to let me relive the thrill of those precious moments again or at least to recall them with more perfect clarity. As painful as it is to think about the past sometimes, I'm glad that I have had experiences worth longing to relive. But I've fallen into the temptation of getting stuck in these memories, and I don't want to dwell in the shadow of Mays past.
So I'm trying to live up to the challenge of making this May even more memorable. And after a year that has largely revolved around solving and resolving health issues, I'm hoping this will go down in my memory as "the month I finally started getting it all figured out." But even if it isn't, I'm going to let the following idea--by no means restricted to the month of May--dictate my actions:
"How would I want my life to be written?"
Silly as it is, I've always wanted my life to be written down somewhere and published, whether it's the result of someone writing my biography or of me writing a personal memoir. Even if it's an e-book. But no matter who's holding the pen (or tapping the keyboard) I want to be someone worth writing about. And for that, I need to live a life worth writing about.
So even if they make me sad, I want to make countless more moments that bear remembering and retelling. The book of my life should be composed of chapter after riveting chapter--it can't just be a one-act play.