Monday, July 8, 2013

Red Letter Days

Some days, like some people, come and go, not even a scent or sight to remember them by. Other days stick out like a best friend does, forever altering the course of your life.

I found this conversation in an old journal of mine. It's a conversation (from AIM!) between my lifelong best friend Steve and I on the day I received that fateful letter in the mail from the University of Michigan. A law school graduate now, it is a testament to the passage of time. I've never been a big believer in fate or destiny, but looking back on this, it's hard not to think about the stars. Steve and I clashed in colors as youngsters - Steve always moseying through the backyards and hopping for crab apples in his green and white Michigan State sweatshirt, me waiting at the back porch in my navy and yellow sweater with 'Michigan' stitched across. It's hard to not credit destiny to the fact that we are now both graduates of the schools we once dreamed about. Four years in your college town can make it seem routine, but this piece from my old journal is a testament to just how much my destiny was driven for 17 years by the sole desire of receiving that letter from Michigan.

Time changes all things, but it doesn't change memories. I wanted like hell to get out of my hometown at the time of this journal entry, but the years have colored my memories of those days with a tinge of nostalgia. I remember a time, a place. I was living under my father's roof, antsy to the point of rebelliousness to sow my wild oats and find life outside the streets of my neighborhood. It was a time of innocence, even if I didn't think it back then. My journal is chock-full of days of playing baseball at the sandlot with the neighborhood guys, sneaking in a bottle of Jack Daniels to the Friday night football game, puppy love in the way that high school sweethearts play such a role in shaping who you start to be as an adult, high school nights spent driving around aimlessly just because we didn't want to go home, phrases like "carpe diem" scribbled across the pages, and teenage angst brewed over cheeseball lyrics.

Looking back reminds me of my years. Now, a night at a restaurant or watching sitcoms sounds like a good night to me. Drinking has taken on a new, darker meaning to me. The seventeen-year-old self emanating from that high school journal stands in direct opposition to the quarter-century old me: back then I would have yawned at the thought of staying in, and my every night was motivated in some sense to find that next buzz. I was so full of life, and night. And that's a feeling I'll never get back.

ScubaSteve101eml: i heard you are an official wolveriene
BlueDevl34: haha
BlueDevl34: yup
BlueDevl34: i guess so
ScubaSteve101eml: its like the best day of yer life
BlueDevl34: yeah pretty much
ScubaSteve101eml: like ever since u were like 4 you have been waiting to oppen that letter
BlueDevl34: lol
BlueDevl34: i was so nervous tho

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