What is it about this season that makes us all nostalgic and analytical of our lives? Is it because we know that another year has gone by and so many of the items in our lists were not checked off? Or is it the simple fact that we are getting older? I don’t know if it happens to all of you, but I have a love, hate relationship with the holiday season. Here is why?
I remember when I was younger, I would only think is great since it would be time off from school, yummy food, family, friends and parties. Now, it is the reminder that those years are gone, even though the food and the parties with family and friends are still there. There is something about the decoration lights that make me feel nostalgic.
One year and its collection of memories
I sometimes seat in my chair and go somewhere deeper into my thoughts. I reminisce as I begin looking at those around me and see how their lives have completely blossomed into a different world, all in less than 365 days. Some of them have children now and are creating beautiful and complicated families. I do not mean complicated in a bad way. I see it as magical because every decision for them is now not about themselves, but of a little child that is completely dependent of what their parents will decide for them. It is a grand thing to watch. In the meanwhile, I feel as if I am the piano man, sitting in my corner watching stories develop in front of me, only in this case I’m not playing the piano of course.
Some of those important moments of the year that almost passed, are all playing in front of me, as if my mind had recorded a piece of each one of them. Some are happy, some are sad and some have no relevance at all now. However, somewhere deep inside me, something knows that these were important as well. Maybe I grew up a little more, if that can be said.
Flashes of airplanes, of future dreams, of tiny little hands touching my face, the idea of new little hands, mountains and wonderful meals. The smell of a blackberry pie in my hands and well maybe all over my face too. That moment when I hugged a tree and felt some kind of peace. I see flashes of me wondering through unknown streets and wanting to capture pieces of old architecture in my hands. Instead, I see myself working hard on taking a good photograph that then, I dismiss for not being good enough. Oh! that day when I bathed in the cold Mediterranean on a warm, summer day. The beach did not fit another individual and I was just happy. I am sure my cousin can attest to how gratifying it was to drink the coldest beer, overlooking at the ocean, a couple of hours after. Another hot summer night appears to the sound of a flamenco that touched my soul. For a moment, I realized that I had so deeply identified with a culture that might as well have been that of my ancestors. There was that morning in Seville that dropped in mind when I spoke to a stranger while he served us delicious, strong coffee and an almond pastry made by the gods. He made me think of my grandpa and how he used to take me to school every morning, but not before, stopping at “El Caminante Cafe” to have some “cafecito” and freshly made coconut pie. I think that is where my love for coffee and sugar comes from. It tastes of my Pipo.
There was that day this year while in Madrid, when I stood there in the middle of a white room full of people and watched Picasso’s immense and intense masterpiece “The Guernica”. As the details unraveled in front of me, I thought of how history has no memory because it tends to keep on repeating itself. I remembered how mad I felt because we humans are responsible for that. Then, right after, some dark moments unfolded as well. Hospital beds, and deep untold worries about a loved friend, a tiny bed in a hospital with a plastic cover that made my heart wrinkle a bit every time I walked into the cold and sometimes too bright room; it still does today. The fear that life keeps on moving and I cannot keep up with its pace. But, these fears and these scary moments helped come to the realization that most people always tell you, but you usually take for granted. Live your life! As long as you are alive, there is still time.
See what I tell you folks. The end of the year is always scary. It makes me over think the past and worry about the future too much. However, the beauty of it is in its hope, like a second chance, or a new destination, something new to learn and someone new to love. You have the next year to fix all the shit that you messed up on this one. Make it count, be brave. Here I leave you with some of the questions that constantly keep on coming back at the end of every year for couple of years now.
When did we all become conscious adults? When did my parents get older?
When did I become this? How will you surprise me New Year?