They say eyewitness testimonies are unreliable, and it is true. Each time I try and recall summer from years ago, it always seems yellower than the last, warmer and, in a way, more elusive, and every time I remember heartache, it, too, feels exaggerated. As I sat by myself on a typical Saturday at the cafe, I deliberated replacing my usual americano with a cappuccino. Then, I remembered how I was getting drunk in bars just a few years ago, being open to picking fights with famous artists, and I laughed. I remember never being able to keep my mouth shut. Now, I refrain from even talking about what is on my mind. All my bravado and wit are now reserved for a few puns when talking to friends or family. Looking back, it all feels so larger than life. Perhaps, when I was in those adrenaline-fuelled evenings, they were not as glorious, but that is how memory works, and we will never know.
I eventually could not resist routine completely: I chose an americano, and if we’re being honest, I chose two. Still, I went for pancakes today instead of my usual full English breakfast. We should, whenever the occasion presents itself, deliberate and consider change for the sake of it. The world is generally mundane, and everyone adventuring out in the woods eventually needs to come back to town for a supply run or go to the bank or the nearest ATM. Ultimately, everyone returns to the humdrum of society, even if for a minute or two. No matter how much you resist, something will bring you back to the usual, and so, I do not resist the call; my strategy is to trick it.
I trick it by making changes here and there—minutiae. Sometimes, I find a new favourite; often, my preferences are bolstered. But we must keep changing things here and there if they can be changed. When something works, such as my habit of walking about on a Saturday afternoon, looking up and taking pictures of trees, we must preserve it. It is all an experiment in the end. I have been so many people before, and all of them seem enticing in how I remember them. Today, however, I can only be who I am at this very moment.
This banality will feel larger than life when I look back at it eventually, too.