There are moments that I will never forget. These moments, glued into my mind like photos into a scrapbook, range from a simple look that was exchanged between two parties, to a decision that completely altered the way I live my life. In there is one hug, standing on a manhole covering, another is the first time I ever met my best friend. A lot of them are nights I spent doing absolutely nothing with the people I love most, and about twenty five percent of them are car rides with my grandma, listening to music, talking about life, and drinking coffee. Those memories are my magical summers, and my sunshine after the storm moments, they are times when I thought all hope was lost and then something happened to make it all better, and at least one of them is a kiss (and no, it’s not my first kiss, which was actually on stage).
Five to ten of them happened in a theatre, one of them happened while I was in front of a camera, and another three while I was behind it. Sometimes there are no pictures with the memories, just smells. Like the smell after it rained for the first time after I got removed from my mother’s care. It smelled of clean - per usual - but that time it meant something different. It meant that I was clean too. That I was finally free of her grasp on my life and that’s why when it rained while I was walking home from school the next day I let it drench me. All the bad times were being washed away. It was beautiful. One of them happened tonight. It was a moment when I felt completely safe and realized that I should be allowed to feel that more often.
But tonight I realized that most of them are really seemingly menial things. Which gives validity to the statement "it's the small things that count." Because they really do. Without those small things, like my sister Carissa and I spending that first night up at the spot, I wouldn't be the person I am today. I wouldn't have the friends I have, I wouldn't have had the amazing experiences I've had today. I wouldn't have done cheerleading, I wouldn't have gotten into theatre, none of it. Because there are really small things behind everything I've ever done. And I remember all of those small things. I remember all of this, and it's a gift and a curse.
A gift because later down the road I can think back on my life and remember those glances, hugs, laughs, tears, memories made, and smile to myself. I'll remember that I'm friends with Kimber Grunst because Cheyanne was gone from school and we both had no one else to eat with at lunch, that I'm friends with Cheyanne because she needed to use my eyes as a model for her wolf mask in 7th period art, and that the only reason I took art was because I wasn't allowed to take two English classes in the seventh grade. I'll remember proposing to Joanna ten minutes after we met, getting lost and asking Chandler to help me find Foley-Benson's class, Daryn, Melissa, and Maranda claiming me after they found out I was the new kid in school, and the first time I knew without a shadow of a doubt that Peyton Puryear was my friend. I'll remember the first time I made my RA laugh "you left for three minutes and now it’s a foursome!" and basically the moments when I made some of the best friends a person could ask for.
And a curse, because I'll remember the exact moment when so many things fell apart. I'll never forget the exact feeling I got in my stomach the moment I found out that Carissa needed me one night more than she has ever needed before or since then. I remember the blood draining out of my face when I found out my Great Grandma's cancer has come back and she is going to let nature work its course. I remember the looks on the faces of my brothers when they were hungry and we couldn't afford food, and the way everyone I've ever seen cried the moment they experienced true heartbreak. And it will break my heart. Because some aches you just don't get over. And you have to learn how to deal with that.