happiness is finding the place where being yourself is exactly what's needed

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

thoughts on my first year in bellingham: the city of subdued excitement

The most recent year always seems like the longest. That's how memory works, right? At any given time I can tell you more about what I've done in the past year than what I've done in the rest of my life. 
Now, if you've played Cards Against Humanity with me, you're probably thinking, "yeah right, you can never even remember the last time you pooped." But common/mundane experiences merge together in memory, which is why we hear all kinds of things like, "I can't believe it's already been 14 years since I graduated high school." 
You won't hear that from me, of course. I don't even remember high school. Most of it is just fact-memory, by now. For instance, I remember that I was involved in drama, but I couldn't tell you what kind of parts I had, and I only remember the names of two of the plays I was in: "The Crucible" and "Groovy." I can remember that I lost my virginity senior year, but I don't remember anything about the actual experience besides the excitement of doing something new.
At any rate, if we strive to keep doing new and different things, we make our lives seem longer. I don't want to be one of those senior citizens who, when asked by researchers to name a memory from "half their life ago," automatically thought of something they did in their early 20s. If I'm 80, and someone asks me about "half my life ago" I want to think of something I did at 40. Or 60. Or earlier that day. Already my early 20s are blurring, as thoughts of those days grow less and less valuable to anything I am currently.
We live and we grow.
Someday I will look at this post and think, "Aw, look at the cute little 31 year old. I didn't know ANYTHING back then." 

With that said, my year in Bellingham didn't really bring the type of exciting adventure I'm used to. The kinds of things I write down are usually making new friends, staring new hobbies, discovering new places. I haven't done a lot of that here. There were a couple of each of these things, but I definitely didn't get out and do things as much as I'd hoped.
That's not to say this year was not an adventure, or that there weren't enough things of interest in it to be worthy to be called a year of my life. It's just that the adventure here thus far has been internal. If I evaluate my year in activities, it's equal to about 2 months. But if I evaluate my year in thought time, it's probably about 3 or 4 years, in comparison to what I'm used to.
Does that mean I didn't really know how to use my brain before? Probably, but tomorrow I'll say that about today, and so on and so forth.
Half my life ago? Yeah, I remember that, it was somewhere between the picture down there of the coffee shop and the picture of the coffee cup. Halfway through that cup of coffee, that was half my life ago.
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Gee, Ven, you're well on your way to developing dementia." Well, what better place to develop dementia than the city of subdued excitement? 
Some highlights:

my favorite nook in the fairhaven quarter

on a section of trail i always run into when lost and am not sure how to find intentionally

my favorite coffee place here and the robot who guards the door
sometimes walking down the street here looks like wonderland.

i keep taking pictures of this boat. i don't know why. i really like this boat. i kinda wanna live in it.

With all that said, I think I'll rate my first year in Bellingham a 5/5 stars.
I also wrote more in 2013 altogether (Santa Barbara - Bellingham) than in all the other years of my life put together, so that's pretty groovy, too.