Cute Little Me
is short, maturity is forever.” –Calvin by Bill Watterson
I remember a great quote, I’m not sure who said it but I think it was from Reader’s Digest, and it went something like “The older you get the more important it is to have people who remember you when you were younger.” I think it’s equally important to try to capture those moments for yourself so you can look back on them and remember who you were way back when. Here are some pictures from moments in my life that bring back fond memories of times and places that I never want to forget.
…and then I had to go and graduate. You never really think about life as a sequence of things until those things run up on you. All of a sudden my well-balanced little world was upset by the looming presence of college. Not that I wasn’t excited. It’s just that there was a whole new routine to get used to, new expectations and new dreams. The worries would come later.
So after some packing and goodbyes, I found myself here. The University of Delaware campus. It’s a beautiful place in a small little town but of course the first impression is always incomplete. Years later I’d find out that visually it’s a cross between the projects and a country club. See, apparently it’s the university’s mission to replace every natural footpath with red bricks and every natural blade of grass with the finest imported grass money can buy. It’s a control-hungry, money-is-no-object [especially if the expense is completely pointless] power-trip. And while we still get like one-sixth value for book sellbacks they just put in a new fountain.
Later on things settled down (a little) and I became a junior. This is me and my older brother in my sophomore/junior year room. He’s the one with the shades. Now that I think back on it, probably the biggest pre-college things that’s contributed to me being the person I am is having a brother who’s one year, one month and one day older than me.
So what have I gained through all this? Well from experience and talking to general people and fellow members of the NLF I’ve realized that college is really the exact opposite of everything it appears to be on the surface. Under the cover of lectures and tests, of product promotion and stupid self-interest, of group mentality and apathy, there is actually something to be learned about being a person. On the one hand you have your last chance to be as much of a kid as possible and on the other you have the obligation to become the perfect adult. It’s almost like staying dry under water.
This was taken way back in high school when I still wore my hats forward. That’s my cousin standing next to me and we’re at a the West Indian Day parade in Brooklyn. Ah, the food, the fun, the people. I can never really enjoy these things though because I get dizzy if I stand around getting hit with loud music in hot weather for a long time. I look appropriately confused in this pic because at this time in my life everything was still a mystery and life was very routine. No expectations, no dreams, no worries. Just good times.
Yeah, I clean up pretty well. This is the one of my graduation pics from high school. The coolest part about this process is that it’s so fake. The only thing real in this picture is the suit jacket. The shirt is like a little cut out and I might as well be naked from the waste down. They wouldn’t even let me keep the red bowtie.
This is me freshman year in my double right after spring break. It almost seems like a lifetime ago now. This is the year that really turned my perceptions backwards. The environmental club, the religious organization, a good gpa, dance parties, coming back from rendezvous at like 4am, mix-tapes, getting in shape, the pipe (lol, just kiddin), shady business deals for my roommate, questioning the impossible and generally trying to find something to hold onto in my life. Damn that was a fun year.
But if you look hard enough you’ll realize that it’s all just a refining process. Like Lawrence Fishburne said in ‘Higher Learning’, it’s about learning how to think. Everything is about perspective. How you deal with people, work, stress, love; all that good stuff is subject to question. Leave all your excess baggage behind and find out who you’ve always wanted to be instead of simply fitting into the available roles. Learn how to respond instead of how to react. Make those memories one’s that you’ll be proud of and cherish for the rest of your life.