A trip back SLOme
I visited SLO last weekend to see friends graduate and wow did the memories rush back. Strolling through farmer's market, driving down Higuera, making the same turns onto familiar campus roads - it felt like I had never even left and everything was still in place, but somehow everything has changed.
Every place brought back a memory. The theaters where I watched movies premiere on opening night, the creek I took the bus to for one of my first photoshoots, the shady tunnel I hopped through to get to school everyday, and the boba shop where I first met Simon. They're just places - restaurants, stores, classrooms, sidewalks - but they mean so much to me.
It was this town where I became the Sophia I am today. Where I explored my passions, made hundreds of friends, and learned by doing. Where I grew up and fell in love with people who became my family, with places that became my home, and a meaningful, fulfilling life I created for myself. I was so young and clueless but so damn happy.
And all the places are still there, standing in their very spot in the present moment but they take you back in time, reminding you of the magic of those good old days. I remember it all so well with such bittersweet longing and nostalgia.
I asked the newlygrads about their plans for post-grad. Just about everyone was in that optimistic "I'll figure it out from here" mindset, and I knowingly nodded and smiled.
That's when I realized I was no longer the person I was just a year ago - a young clueless not-quite-adult blinded by optimism. There was so much I didn't know and so much I thought I did know. And in the past year, growing up and being an adult has taught me that I don't actually know anything.
But you look at the optimism in these kids and can't help but envy their blissful ignorance.
That's something I can never get back again.
You don't know what you got until it's gone.