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all time ever does is pass by Mel N. '24

and all i ever do is remember

i’ve realized i spend most of my time trying to divorce myself from the present, lingering in corners of the past. revisiting things that used to feel like home, dusting off once-beloved keepsakes. these days, i’ve found myself scrolling through old documents and snippets of writing, sometimes amused by who i used to be, sometimes saddened. whenever i think about blog posts i want to write, i gravitate towards the reflective ideas, ones that invite readers to reminisce with me, rather than those that provide updates on what i’m currently doing, or new and exciting things in my life.

because the reality is, there’s not a lot of new and exciting things in my life right now.

“how are you doing? what have you been up to?”

“oh, you know,” i say. “the usual.”

every week is a cycle: lectures, psets, eat, sleep, repeat. i fill the hours in between with mindless interests. recently i’ve been watching a lot of buzzfeed unsolved, going back to a time in sophomore year of high school when it made me so happy i felt like i would burst with joy whenever i talked about it. i play the master playlist on shuffle in the background as i answer questions on mitx. ryan and shane keep me company like old friends, their banter making me feel a little less alone, a little more grounded as i try to keep my head above the water.

it’s been a hard semester. everyone knows it–feels it, the bone-deep exhaustion running deep within us. it’s hit after hit, assignment after assignment, seemingly with no end in sight. there’s been a bit of reprieve, recently, after reif sent out an email asking professors to chill out a little so that we can have an actual long weekend, but sometimes i stare at my planner and the way it stretches on for another month and i think, can i do this?

and when i think i can’t, i bury myself deeper in old sources of comfort. a return to times that weren’t necessarily simpler or easier, because god knows i had my share of issues in high school, but times that i remember with the sort of fondness that comes with a few years of distance.

i think i just need to be stronger. i wish i could be the version of myself who powers through things without balking halfway, who can actually focus for long periods of time, who eats three meals a day and gets nine hours of sleep every night. that person seems like a distant dream. maybe in a few years–maybe once i figure out how to steady my footing in this slippery world–maybe in another life.

i tend to end my posts with a vague statement of hope, and this one is no different. i’d like to think that i’m an optimistic person. i hope for the best. i’ll keep floating along, passing through my hall of memories, loving the things i used to love.

“…do not know if i will ever forget. i do not know if i want to. i am every age i have ever been. all time ever does is pass and all i ever do is remember. there are days i do not recognize myself in old pictures. there are times i feel like my life stopped at 18.”

sue zhao