This is my final piece for ANWA Founder and Friends blog. I'll still write for Andilyn Thinks, so come check me out. Thank you for reading this last year. Happy summer.
Live Everyday Moments
Back in my day, we would AIM: AOL Instant Messaging—the dawn before texting, Facebook, and Skype. I would get home from school, flip on the computer, and sign in. For a while, my font choice was red Papyrus. All of my contacts were real friends, far from how Facebook defines it now—these were people I actually talked to at school. And when any one of them would sign on, I’d pop them a message. And soon, six or seven of us would be on in a chaos of words also known as a group chat. The girls would flaunt inside jokes that drove our guy friends crazy, and the guys would try and figure out if we were talking about them.
This conversation was my favorite I looked at because as it progresses, two of these guys are fighting over one girl, unbeknownst to her. And ten years down the road, she'd end up marrying one. But this pic only represents the section when we all got food because the next day was Fast Sunday.
Many things from my childhood and teenage years are beginning to fade. But in a fit of writer’s block, I started searching My Documents for inspiration, and I came across a folder filled with AIM conversations. See, when I (or anyone) had a particularly funny, serious, or heart-felt conversation with a friend, I copied and pasted the conversation and saved it in a file on my desktop. My best friend printed them out and filled up her nightstand drawer, another saved them to a thumb drive, but we all saved them. Some, I would share with my close girls, and we’d giggle as we read between the lines trying to decipher whether or not he was flirting or just being funny. And now, they’re textual photographs from my junior high/high school years.
It’s intriguing, the things I thought I’d never forget. That’s what these conversations were—moments with people I loved. Moments of which I never wanted to let go. And now, 7-11 years later, I’ve forgotten almost all of them. Spoiler alert! Life looks different ten years down the road. It’s a realization that in ten more years, when I have my own teenagers, I’ll look at 25 and struggle sorting between memories of Evelyn’s dance recitals or were they gymnastics meets? And how exactly did Evan pronounce “up”? (which is “bup,” by the way). And suddenly, the things that seem big to me at 25, I can’t even remember.
So I have a mission. Step one, is to keep a journal. Because, oh boy did I ever have a good laugh reading through these old AIM conversations. They make me fear ever having teenagers, but they also make me smile as I remember a past that shaped me.
But step two, is to live in the moment. I can’t guarantee that I’ll remember these moments in ten years. But I can guarantee that I really loved them as they happened. And then, it doesn’t matter if I remember. It matters that I was fully present. Or, as I engraved in Aaron’s wedding ring six years ago, that I live everyday moments.