Memories of Past Lives
Change happens so slowly. It crept up on me, and all of a sudden I feel very conscious about time passing me by. So much can happen in 4 years.
February 28, 2014 | Fog | March 2014
Life in my early 20s, so far, has consisted of many light nights followed by some very confusing mornings. I can usually string my foggy memories back together to paint a vague picture of what happened the night before. Sometimes I can’t, and sometimes I don’t want to. Injuries, missed calls, weird confusing photos of my feet in a night club bathroom cubicle. Some of my favourite memories are those I cannot fully remember, with people whose names I have forgotten, in a location that I never knew the name of in the first place. I have always been obsessed with documenting my life. Photos, drawings, journals, boxes and boxes of photos – Yet my actually memory is terrible. I forget peoples names, I can't remember where I left my keys, and I couldn't tell you what I did last Saturday for the life of me. How are we going to reflect on these precious memories in our old age, if we are struggling to remember them in the first place?
These are a series of photos I took in 2010. I had just moved to Canberra to start a new life. I was 20 years old and I’d never felt more ambitious. Looking at them now is like getting punched in the face by a huge wave of emotions. I don’t see the people in these photos any more. I used to see them every day. At some point we all drifted apart. And even though I have wonderful friends and a beautiful life now, it’s sad when you realize how easily people slip through the cracks of time. I worry that it is only a matter of time before this happens to me again. People that I was so sure I would be friends with forever – and it only just hit me that I haven’t seen them in years. Relationships end, friendships drift, people move cities and before you know it, the people you saw daily now only exist in the world of Facebook chat.
All my memories of this time in my life are like these photos; blurry, foggy, and hazy, like I was in some sort of dream-like state for all of 2010. The booze, the late nights, the entry-level recreational drugs. It almost feels like these memories never really happened, as if I was just watching someone else’s life for years. I remember 2010 fondly. I remember being excited to get my first “real job”. I had all these wonderful new friends; I worked part-time in a shoe store and ate nothing but two minute noodles and drank nothing but goon. I had never had so little money, and I had never been so happy. Life was good. I took a camera everywhere I went, I remember thinking to myself at the time “I don’t want to forget this” which is funny, because when I try to remember those fun times my memory is so foggy that I struggle to piece the stories back together.
I remember when these photos felt like a current representation of my life. Bright and sunny, familiar faces, smiles and laughs, but also some darker times, fights, tears. I can’t remember when this changed. I can’t remember when I stopped hanging out with these people, when I stopped going to these parties, when I stopped driving that car, when I stopped wearing that dress. I guess we all just drifted apart. Change happens so slowly. It crept up on me, and all of a sudden I feel very conscious about time passing me by. So much can happen in 4 years. Time passes, memories become foggy. I have nothing but fond memories of this time in my life. I have no doubt that I will look back at these when I am old and grey, and I’ll smile and be happy that I ever had the chance to meet these people. And in another 4 years’ time, I have no doubt that I will be getting all emotional over my current photos, like the nostalgic fool that I am. It’s unhealthy to live in the past, but I think it’s worse to forget.
Miranda lives in Sydney and works a 9-5 office job that allows her to spend 8 hours on MS Paint drawing stuff. Her art has been featured on The Huffington Post, It's Nice That, Buzzfeed, Booooooom, and more.