It’s funny how landscapes can bring memories flooding back to you. I’ve spent a lot of time in the last month driving through areas that I used to frequent. The new commute takes me through my college town and the surrounding areas where I spent so many years of my adult life. Remembering can be a bittersweet experience.
I remember all the day trips my ex-husband and I used to take. Up to a winery. Into the foothills to take pictures. To the surrounding farm towns to get fresh fruit and vegetables from the stands. Dropping the dog off at the kennel before we left for a vacation.
I remember the trips I took with friends. Out to Lake Berryessa to watch a meteor shower or to swim in the lake at night. To dinner at Chevy’s because we just wanted to get out of town. Driving around just because we wanted to and we could.
As I drive though Davis, I remember the time two of my roommates snuck onto private university property and cut down palm fronds for a party we were having at our apartment. I remember all the times we walked through town and campus at night on our way to or from the bars. So many memories in one town that it can be overwhelming. They are happy memories for the most part.
I think the reason these landscapes and memories have become so prominent lately is because I need them. I have very few good memories of the four years I was with my ex. When I drive around town, I don’t remember the fun times we had because we didn’t have any. I remember the times she yelled at me because I was driving too slow or because I didn’t offer enough times to stop and get people something to eat when they all said they didn’t want anything. I remember how every time she suggested we all go out somewhere I’d have panic attacks because going out never ended well. The landscapes she and I shared do not make me nostalgic.
I haven’t made too many memories for myself in the last year. Lack of time. Lack of opportunity. Lack of trying. It’s also hard to make memories when you are alone so much of the time. I want the landscapes of these future years to be happy ones. I want to make new memories. I don’t want to always live in past memories and miss the opportunity to make something wonderful and new. The memories I have will always be there. Nothing can replace them. They will always be special. But it is time to start moving forward again. It is time for new experiences that will lead to memories that will be just as cherished as the ones I have now. Memories to make and share with someone special. I don’t the how. I don’t the when. I’m not even entirely sure of the where.
I do know the who.