Thursday, April 14, 2011


I used to get these strong moments of nostalgia when I was ending a major period of my life -- I remember having visited my high school's band camp the summer before I was headed to college, and afterward, lying across my bed at home, in a near-physical pain about leaving marching band.  It was one of the experiences I most intensely loved throughout four years of high school and I expected nothing would be like it again.  And my college band experience really wasn't much like it, after all.  But that had all its own variables of course.  So I still look back past college band to high school band with a special fondness.

In the evening of my graduation day from Penn, I had a bit of an emotional breakdown.  I was trying to pack to move out of my dorm apartment room and kept thinking of how some of my closest friends would be disappearing across the country.  I began checking in with friends to see if anyone wanted to go out and do something, because I had to get out of that room and the physical actions of preparing to leave the campus (and a life built over four years).  Eventually I was told to meet up at City Tap House -- my first night there actually; I went thankfully.

Life post-college has developed wonderfully, and accordingly, my amount of time to rest is typically on a slow but steady decrease.  Sometimes I can't believe how lucky I am to have found these activities -- mainly dancing -- and the truly beautiful community thereof.  I hardly have time to process and appreciate it all enough.  The excellent side benefit is one I often don't notice: I usually don't have the mental time to fall into nostalgia.  It almost makes sense... why should I be sad and miss the past if the present is full of happiness?

But sometimes, I open up a memory.  And I hold it for a long moment.  I can be sad if I think of it as a loss, that someone or something is no longer an element of my life, or if an experience was much briefer than I would wish it to be.  But there is a deep joy and appreciation that shines through this.  It was a part of my life -- a part meaningful enough to leave a lasting and treasured impression.  That's why the word 'bittersweet' is so perfect, and why I don't push away those moments of nostalgia when I find myself in them.  I find value in appreciating them once again, just within myself.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

social dynamic reciprocation?


In the blues/swing dance community I am surrounded by many incredibly nice and friendly people.  (I hate how generic those terms are, but they are basically the terms that apply.)  There are many people I still am just getting to know on more of a friend level (i.e. a step beyond "hey it's fun to dance with you" level), and pretty much everyone is open to chatting away easily and comfortably.  I feel like I've found gold in this group of people.  And this circles back and inspires me to act in kind.  What I ended up wondering just now was whether others get the same vibe back from me...  (I hope!)