Memory keepers // 04x52

Over fall break, Kevin and I visited our dear friends, Kathleen and Jonathan, at Princeton, and this weekend they came to return the favor! In preparation, I frantically searched for things to do and places to take them. After a semester here, you'd think that I'd have a list off the top of my head, but I actually haven't explored very much. In the end, the two main stops we made were at Snap Custom Pizza and Hothouse Coffee, which you'll be hearing about in separate posts. It was a busy weekend spent with good company, but for some reason, I'm finding it harder to compose something to say about it.

A pet peeve of mine is when people try to be "different" just for the sake of being different. Everyone is different; you don't have to try to be. You just need to let it come naturally or take the time to figure out what it is that makes you different instead of making a lazy attempt at distinguishing yourself. Because seriously anyone would rather wear a dress with Converse than with heels.

Another peeve is when people try to be "deep" but are really just talking nonsense. When writing about an abstract topic like "nothingness" or "simplicity," it's easy to use a bunch of colorful adjectives and talk very generally for a more universal approach that more people can (maybe) relate to, or at least get caught up in the vivid descriptions and forget that it's just fluff. Sometimes it works, but sometimes it doesn't, and that's when it bothers me. And I think I may be on the verge of doing that myself, especially with this 52 project, in which most mornings consist of nothing more than idling around.

I'm a hypocrite! Just like how I hate tourists when I'm traveling and trying to get pictures for myself as a tourist. But I'm trying to be better about it. I thought that this weekend would be easier to make a post for, because I finally had concrete things to write about, but I failed to take into account the feels.

Quoting Urban Dictionary, feels are "a wave of emotions that sometimes cannot be adequately explained." I can show you a collection of GIFs to illustrate my emotions, but give me words and I'll lose them. It's especially hard to articulate yourself when consumed by such overflowing joy like I was.

Nothing beats hanging out with fellow photographers. We don't do anything. We just slow down and appreciate what's around us, capturing as much of the world as we can through our tiny viewfinder. We also find delight in crunching through freshly fallen snow and making Animal Crossing sounds.

We're memory keepers. We chase nostalgia. What more symbolic than a playground? As children, playgrounds were our world. We built cities in the sandbox, evacuated ships via slides, swung through the jungle on ropes, and climbed the mountain of stairs. We ruled the yard and nothing could touch us, unless we were playing tag.

Morning became noon became evening, and before we knew it, the four of us had made our way through the day that could never be long enough. But who is the sun to dictate when our day ends? We stayed out long after the sun set, which reminds me of a similarly nostalgic moment back in Beijing. Oh yeah, and today marks the first time I've hopped a fence. Yup, into an elementary school playground.

It came time for them to leave, but not without us serenading them with Sam Smith's "Stay With Me" as they boarded the train. Unfortunately they did not stay with us because they needed to escape Juno (lame), but I'm excited for them to do amazing things in their part of the world and come back to share it all with us. Meanwhile, I'll be trying to kick off my second semester of college on the right foot and then just keeping forward, as much as I like to romanticize the past and everything that it holds. I'll be spending many more mornings here on campus, and it'll be interesting to see how I give each morning a fresh look, because every day is a new day with something else waiting to be discovered.

Sleep seems terribly inviting though.

PS: 0302. 01.