Tag Archives: observations

Growing up has just begun

One of my best friends from college married the love of her life earlier this month. A partner who would accompany me on nights out at the bar when nobody else could (or would) join, an ear to listen to my latest saga about the boy who wasn’t interested in me the way I was interested in him, a friend whom I could laugh and cry with about pretty much anything. A few years after college, she met him through a mutual family friend. Soon, she moved to Baltimore to be with him. And now, she’s married.

Last week, I saw my favorite band live for the last time in this area. After 11 years of going to their concerts and 12 years of being a fan, it’s all come to an end as the band officially calls it quits. I already had my cryfest at the shows, and after the shows, but it’s still a raw wound. Words can never adequately express just how much they mean to me.

On a brighter note, I’m being assigned to fill-in produce a live one-hour evening news show at work. Back in January, I couldn’t have imagined adding “Produce a one-hour live show” to my list of accomplishments this year. But here I am. Approaching the biggest assignment of my career thus far.

So many things have changed, and strangely enough, all of the above have happened in this month alone. It’s the second to last month of 2016, and it’s managing to shock me. As I’ve gotten older, the years have stunned me more and more. It really is astounding how much can change in one year’s time. Changing jobs, changing living spaces, changing lifestyles, meeting new friends, seeing old friends move on, overcoming illness, new relationships blossoming, old relationships falling, and most of all, being mature enough to cope with all of the above.

This summer, I left a job I liked in a place I hated to move closer to home and my family – and moved in with my boyfriend. Two years ago, I couldn’t have imagined reaching that stage in a relationship with someone. I just didn’t expect it to happen; I couldn’t picture it. But then it happened, and I couldn’t be happier that it did. One of my best friends is married, and while I am nowhere near marriage or engagement, it’s a pretty big deal for me to have taken the step of cohabitation. Big, in the sense of it being something I – again – had not expected.

My next birthday will mark the point in time when I’ll officially be in my “late 20s.”As the leaves on the trees change from deep green to red, yellow, orange and brown, time is passing more quickly than ever. This year has been full of challenges and unexpected turns, and I can hardly fathom where the twists will take me next year.

Time Traveling

It happens every time I eat hummus. Or drink rose tea. Or speak Hebrew. Or breathe the aroma of seasoned meat grilling on a Halal street cart. I float back to another time and another place, extraordinary sensory experiences that will always remind me of being somewhere else – if just for a split second.

Of course, mental pictures are invaluable. Vivid mental memories often seem so current (a la “Feels like just yesterday that…”), but those don’t hold a token to the memories my tastebuds have of Israeli hummus or my nose has of the scent from meat cooked in Middle Eastern spices. The mental images pale in comparison to the memories stored in the physical senses.

We hear it all the time about so many different things: “It’s like riding a bike.” Not necessarily in this context, but it’s a similar idea. Our tastebuds remember the unique foods we ate. Our noses remember the new smells we hadn’t inhaled before. Our mouths remember the movements of a foreign language we hadn’t previously practiced. Mental pictures are invaluable, but they’re just that: pictures.

I’ve always been one to learn by interacting with something: by doing something. We learn to drive a car by driving a car. I learned to shoot and edit video by doing it. Looking at a diagram or reading instructions isn’t nearly as effective for me as physically performing an action. By doing and interacting with something, we become familiar with it – I know my brain records it like a video that plays back the next time I’m in that situation.

I recently had to take a refresher course in CPR since receiving certification last year through my job. I’ll admit, I had forgotten most of what the instructors told us. 30 compressions, 2 breaths. But as they said, the act of performing CPR is one of pure muscle memory. Once I did it, I remembered. As it goes, practice makes perfect. Memories are a weird thing.

I am certainly no scientist – while I minored in psychology in college, I am admittedly no expert in the field. My perspective is based solely on my observations from my own experiences; something that occurs to me each time I have one of those brief moments. Surely that’s something people can relate to: being reminded of a faraway place or random memory just from tasting or smelling something unique. And for me, those memories are far more powerful in connecting me to my past experiences.