Thursday, June 2, 2011

On growing up.

Growing up: On camping, weddings, and spending time with family.

Every year on Memorial Day weekend, my family has been going to the same campground since before I can remember. We've moved around the campground a little bit, but for the most part, weve even camped in generally the same spot. The people who come with us cycle and change every year, they've done a lot of work to improve the muddiness and ease of getting out to the tideflats, and in the last six years or so implemented the "ShrimpFest", a street fair in town during the same weekend - but through all these changes, one thing stays the same. My family.

On this trip, I've brought a whole array of different friends along throughout the years. I've met boys, I've gone swimming, I've stayed huddled up inside because of the rain, I've learned to dig for clams, I've decided I hate digging for clams, I've developed a monster skill for shucking oysters. I've roasted marshmallows, made hotdogs, had my first drink of alcohol, started to drive myself to the campground, and hiked to the waterfall nearly every year.

There were two years that I didn't get to go on this camping trip. One year was when Wrockstock fell on Memorial Day weekend. The other was when LeakyCon did. Obviously both of those events were a total blast, but there was a tiny hole inside me where camping with my family should have been. So now, no matter what, I always try to go.

This year was no different. I brought Eia (just like last year), we took the ferry over (because it's faster) and though I had to leave early to get home for a wedding, every moment I spent there was a style of fun I can't even explain to someone who hasn't been going on this camping trip longer than their memory allows them to recall. :)

Weddings are a funny thing. I went to plenty when I was younger; aunts and uncles, older cousins, family friends. Pretty standard. In my family, we generally dance to a lot of Polka music. The younger, hipper relatives throw in some Top 40, confusing the grandparents. Everyone dances and eats and stays up way later than we're generally allowed and I sat at the kid's table.
But now? Now I've been going to friends' weddings. People I know from high school, from YouTube, from college. People my age. And it's really strange to adjust to. I start to see my friends' last names change on Facebook. I no longer sit at a kid's table, because weddings are no longer a "grown up thing to do", they're something my friends are starting to do. And I'm not a kid. When did this happen? When did I get so old?

My friends Tara and Alexander got married on Sunday, and I've net met two people more right for each other. The wedding took place inside the Space Needle, the ceremony was full of little nerdy inside jokes and the food was delicious. We danced, we took photos with silly props, and there was no Polka music to be heard anywhere. Like most people, I'm sure, being there made me daydream about my own wedding someday. Will it be perfect? Will people walk away feeling as happy and content as I did, leaving Tara and Alexander's wedding? I hope so.

Basically, my uncle Lonnie and aunt Tina live in Alaska and have 6 adorable children I don't get to see nearly enough. The kids are all under the age of ten, and are the sweetest children I have ever met. On Wednesday I got to go to a baseball game with them here in the city, as they're in town visiting various family members. That's all there is to the story really.

I have such a large family, strewn out across the whole of the United States; I'm really starting to cherish any time I get with any of them. As I get older and busier, I've realize how hard it can be to make time for the important people in your life if they don't live next door. I never want to fall out of touch with my family, so these kind of experiences are important.

Feeling a little sentimental today thinking about all of this stuff. I'm sure the answer to this is yes, but do any of you struggle with this nostalgia of growing up more and more lately? It doesn't help I'm still making these photo albums, carefully applying my memories in the pages of books, making it that much more final how in the past they are. It's such a combination of happy and sad, I can't help it when I get all sappy like this. xD


Ruth E. Day said...

I know exactly how you feel. My parents have been cleaning out the garage and they recently found a CD full of pictures from when I was in middle school. That was definitely a nostalgic moment.

And I know what you mean about the whole friends getting married thing. It feels weird. I wonder if I'll every get over the feeling that people our age are just TOO YOUNG for that, no matter how old we get.

Also some of my friends have had babies. BABIES! I'm 22 and have a hard time believe I'll EVER be ready for babies, even though I love children.

Sally said...

I am now eighteen, nineteen this september. I always worried that whether I stand a chance to be able to live the next day so I have always been anxious about growing up, what you said in this post is exactly what I always have been thinking. I am both eager and scared to grow up as I want to learn more, see more but I dont want to lose anyone in my life as everybody grow, eventually old.

JW said...

Yeah, I'm similar. I like to look through old photos maybe once a year and just take a memory trip to all the places in them. My family did skiing trips into the Rockies the way yours did camping.

I've seen a couple of my friends get married, and watching them take on the responsibility to planning that day and living with their new mate has made me super proud of them.

I don't have a lot of young relatives but our circle of friends has a lot of young people and watching them group up so crazy fast really makes me feel time pass. When did they all turn into young adults?

Ben said...

I never realised this before but when you are sappy you are both a bit (s)ad and a bit h(appy) and sappy is a combination of the words sad and happy.

Rachel said...

A lot of my friends are getting married or have gotten engaged recently. It's terrifying, especially as it makes me feel super behind, being twenty one, boufriendless and not eben considering marriage at this point in my life. Craziness,

Manar said...

For the past month or so, my family has randomly been watching old home videos. Even more astounding to see than how much things change, is how much things stay the same.

I mean...there are videos of me at age 2, 6, 9, whatever...And so many things are different, but my style of speaking is exactly the same. And it's crazy, cause even as a tiny child, I had this annoyingly intellectual way of talking. xD

Andy said...

Hey, I follow you on Youtube and Twitter but have never read your blog before. You write really well. I enjoyed reading this! :)

And yeah, I totally know how you feel about growing up. My cousin and brother are both getting married this year (Not to each other, just so we're clear!) and my sister had a baby in December of last year.

I think it's great that the people around me are starting their families and are ready to settle down but it's definitely not my time yet.

There's too much I want to see and do before I even think about marriage and children.

Kala said...

I definitely know what you mean about growing up. I've been feeling more than ever lately, as I approach graduating from college with no idea of a job in mind whatsoever. I don't know what I'm going to do and it worries me, but at the same time I know I'll always have my friends and family to back me up :)

Kathy S said...

I know what you mean. I think the weirdest thing for me was when my little sister got pregnant. I mean, she can't be old enough for that right? (And now my nephew is almost 2).

Amy said...

Being a grown up is weird to think about sometimes. I still like the same things I did when I was younger but I just have a lot more responablities then I had before. Can you believe I'm responsible for two little girls lives? Being a wife and mother is who I am now, and I couldn't be happier. Even if I will be 30 in a few years, I still feel young at heart! :)

Kate said...

It didn't hit me until this year when a bunch of my friends graduated from high school [I'll graduate next year]. I felt so weird knowing that I won't see the majority of them ever again. I suddenly felt so old. How could I possibly be a senior already?

Another thing that made me feel slightly older was some of my cousins are married and having babies. But I'm the youngest cousin so I don't feel that old.

Sophie said...

I'm three weeks away from finishing my freshman year of high school, and HELL YES. I'm old!!! I'm an old high school student who is gonna be a sophomore!!! Gahh. I don't even want to think about how grown up I'm going to be when I'm a junior and applying to college. Did you know that teachers at school ask you where you are thinking of going to college in FRESHMAN YEAR!?!?! Excuse me, while I go faint from anxiety.

slinkyT1991 said...

I kinda no how you feel my grandma use to live in Washington. (my dad moved to wisconsin for my mom) and because she was so far away and we didn't have a lot of money as i was growing up i only got to see her twice in my entire life. Once when I was a baby and the other the summer i went into seventh grade. I wrote letters with her back and fourth for some time off and on but not being able to see her was really hard. Than in 10th grade she passed away and when me and my dad flew there i felt like everyone new her way more than me, even my cousins boyfriend. People would talk about her and i would just sit there not really being able to say much. My dad felt so guilty about not going there more often. So ever since than i've been trying alot hard to get closer with my family. Even my big brother.

Hes five years older than me and i mean he was the big brother that always stick up for me and is there for me if i need him. But i swear to you if it was just us two in a room we really wouldn't no what to say. And i'm trying so hard to reach out to him. And now that hes in korea it just makes my whole family realize how short or long life can be.

I hope this makes sense.

Life is short and make sure that no matter what you always stay close to your family and friends. Because you never no what will happen in a second.

kira902k said...

See, now you've gone and made me all sentimental, too.

1. Camping:
your trips sound like so much fun, and I think you've inspired me to want to plan a camping trip with my nerd friends in Montreal. I've only been TO camp twice and I've only BEEN camping once. But it's always been so fun...I want to try to make it happen now.

2. Weddings:
K, yeah. That sounds so freaky. The fact that you and your friends are now of wedding age. I'd never really considered that a time like that will occur for me at some point. So, so very strange.

And yes. I understand the nostalgia/sentimentality and stuff. I love reading your blog cause it makes me realize that I'm not the only one who thinks of things in that way. The whole photo album thing...ah.
I really want to do something with my millions of pictures and videos just taking up space somewhere in my harddrive.

I just graduated high school, so that's a pretty damn freaky time-passing thing to happen. Ah. so weird. =S



Nyckeija R said...

Nostalgia has really been getting me lately, as I am 2 weeks away from graduating highschool. I keep walking around my town, knowing how much I'll miss all this when I leave. But at the same time, I can't wait to go.

catherine said...

I'm 18 now and next year rather than go to college I'm taking a gap year and travelling basically to as many different countries as I can. And although I'm really excited about it every so often it hits me that I'm going by myself and funding this by myself and I'm going to have to grow up a bit in the next seven weeks (my gap year starts in august)

Malory said...

I feel like my early twenties are such a weird time. Lots of my friends getting engaged, married, having babies. It seems like it should be happening to someone else but not to me! Just wanted to say I love reading your random thoughts - keep writing!

Jane said...

I can't say I know what you mean... I'm only about half your age. (13).

However, does anyone remember being scared of the future? Sometime this winter I realized that I only had about five years left at home. To some degree, that seems like a lot of time, but it scares me. I don't know what I want to do with my life, where I want to go to college, any of that.

I still have a lot of time to figure this out, but I'm worried that I won't be able to get the most out of my life.

Over the past couple months, I realized that I don't need to worry. I was wishing what is left of my childhood away, and I need to enjoy it, because I won't get it back once it's gone. I should live in the present, get the most of every moment. I should just pour my heart into what makes me happy right now, and things will turn out in the end. I can just try my best and put everything into my school work, and I'll be fine. I don't have to know yet, I don't even have to know for sure five years from now.

Did any of you feel the same way?

~Alison said...

I know how you feel too.
I have only three more days of grade 11 left. Lately conversions with friends of my parents have been about my collage plans. Conversations with my friends have been about collage. My facebook is flooded with prom pictures of my friends who are graduating this year. It is all so exciting, but terrifying at the same time. Conversations about schools, and SATS are not uncomon.

I am beyond excited for collage, and already know what schools im applying to. Its crazy though. All this stuff is happening SO FAST. I remember when collage was a thing that my friends parents older children did. Or my older cousins...not something I did. It crazy though, my time is almost here, my time to be done with highschool and burst into the real world. I only have a year to wait.