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Rose Colored Glasses

January 12, 2014 - Carrie Olson
Unhealthy. Obsessive. Unrealistic.

In years past, I would look back at my high school and college days with this sort of enchanted wistfulness. I had such GREAT times, such WONDERFUL friends, and THAT much fun. The colors were bright as I listened to song after song that reminded me of that pinpointed time period. Closing my eyes, I’d slide headfirst back and find myself there. I’d live in those brief seconds, a slight breathtaking slice and remember. That was when life was going somewhere.

The rosiness that gilded those memories was a complete façade, but I chose blown smoke over actual truth. The blame game recollections were similar. This person wronged me, here is why that relationship didn’t work, and why those situations blew up. I was innocent in all matters – I didn’t want to live in drama. It’s a beautiful place to live, idyllic ignorance.

Worried I wasn’t going to be good enough, smart enough, successful enough – I chose to live this way. Looking back. And not being. The present filled with jealousy and wanting, too bright. Too real.

After some dusting, the photographs have cleared. The college theater party that was once so vivid lost its luster. I now recall that I left early, opting for tears and a glass of blackberry wine in my dorm room. That high school dance. The music vibrated loudly as I sat on the wooden bench waiting for someone, anyone to ask me to dance. No one did. New ones emerge. Sitting on the community theater steps, wanting out, wanting to be somewhere, anywhere else. Relationships dissolved under closer look. Others stagnated.

This wasn’t just a dramatic exploit, coming to new conclusions. After pushing the buttons to one of those personal jukebox songs that bring back the past on accident, it somehow clicked that these memories were now so different. Radiohead’s “The Tourist” brought me to a memory of sitting in someone’s car. As we sat in the darkened vehicle and listened to the music, our relationship played in my head. It was not good. I was about to graduate from college and I felt it was time to graduate from this scenario as well. It was an awkward friendship, a much more awkward moment, and I just wanted out. Now, I look back and agree with the decision. Yet, I was not completely blameless to the mess that was left behind.

Don’t get me wrong. There are moments in my album that have stayed intact. Pieces of history that haven’t been altered. They are just fewer and farther in between the airbrushed instances that had once filled the pages.

Newer items have been added. Perfect moments with perfect music and perfect timing. More of those keep coming my way, as I stop rushing to create them. They happen and I realize that they are happening. I don’t regret trying to make memories that weren’t real. I just breathe a sigh of relief that I’m no longer in that place.

High school was fine. So was college. I had a few friends that I carried on through those time periods. I have one romantic relationship that had been ripped to shreds that has been carefully sewn back together. Those moments – the good, bad, and forgettable – brought me here. And that’s okay.


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