childhood memories · family · memories · nostalgia

Of Times Past

It’s been quite some time since I’ve stayed in my cousin’s room. Or rather, former room since she no longer lives with her parents. Her old bed has fresh sheets, courtesy of her mom, as I am a guest in the home tonight. I get buzzes of familarity from seeing childhood belongings of hers.

Collages of her smiling face adorn the shelves and walls. In years long past, I saw those pictures so many times. It’s nostalgic to think of the days I was with her in her room, hanging out and goofing around.

Each time I visited, it became almost like a game to see the old decorations and take notice of the new ones she put up. A lot of once was present is no longer here. The book case which used to have a neat line of her extensive book collection is now empty, presumably she gave the books away or took them with her after she moved out.

Born Confused by Tanyja Desai Hidier was one of them. I’ll always remember it for the distinctive cover it had: a red question mark inbetween a pair of dark-colored female eyes. My cousin once praised it as a good book about growing up and culture. I must have been like 14 at the time. She was a year younger than me but had more exposure to things like that. I was a slow starter and didn’t really understand what it meant to have an identity crisis until much later in my own life.

Some things remain unchanged. A pink plastic piggy bank, the duplicate of one I used to have too. Three big plush dolls whose individual names I forgot. A touch-sensitive lamp which I almost didn’t recall how to turn on after so much lost time. Three taps on its neck to make it bloom bright.

Last I heard, my cousin popped by last week with her boyfriend to see her parents. It’s such a weird feeling to know she came back recently and was physically there in the same space I am now. I haven’t seen her as frequently as I once had in my youth.

Many things changed after the college era. I was barely figuring myself out while she seemed to be going after life full-speed ahead. That was my perception of how things were.

To be honest at the time I felt left behind by her but I think it was because I didn’t have my own plan for what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go. I don’t know if the path she took was the one she truly wished for, or if it was what she felt she had to take.

I could text her if I wanted to. She gave me her number sometime last year and suggested we could write to each other. I never did, mostly because I was sure I would bore her with my negative outlook on life. With time comes change and of course I’m not exactly the same person I was last year. Still, I don’t feel quite there yet. Perhaps the best thing is to continue working on myself. I can only hope that whenever is the next time I see her, I will be in a better headspace.

Featured Image by Chinh Le Duc.

8 thoughts on “Of Times Past

  1. This is an opportunity to reach out to your cousin, Nat. It’s as good of a time as ever, so I hope this comment finds you well and can push you to give it a shot!

    Bored or not, I’m sure your cousin would appreciate you reaching out to her.

    Honestly, nearly anyone appreciates being reached out to. It might take a little thought to do so, but it takes a big heart to follow through.

    Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It could be an opportunity, I agree. There really is no such thing as “being ready” for something because life is always changing. I haven’t made plans to take action yet but I will sit and think on your advice.


  2. I think one of the mistakes we make is holding off reaching out. Even if you wait until the “right time”, it might not be the best time for them; such is life. I did my best bonding and catching up when my life was in the darkest hole. Well, one of the times I did. The other time I suffered in silence.

    So these days I try to reach out and say, “Hey!” I think it’s nice, people like it, it feels good, and they don’t always have time to talk, but I think if you make the effort then it’s remembered as a positive thing.


    In any case, I like your descriptive writing of your cousin’s room. Makes me think of one of my cousin’s I’ve lost contact with (it would be too hard to find her since she has undoubtedly married). I don’t even think I can spell her name correctly. It also makes me think of descriptive writing in general…got to brainstorm what I can describe!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am guilty of holding off on lots of things! There are several parts to this. I do feel “oh it’s not the right time” but also my mood can be a strong influencer. How can I describe it… It’s like being alive but I don’t feel like I’m going anywhere in life or have anything keeping me going at the perceived same speed as everyone else. It’s those dark thoughts that make me less motivated with checking in with other people or even talking to them because I’m hung up on feeling so low about myself.

      Thanks for enjoying the description of my cousin’s room. I didn’t know where to start but one way I did it was to describe items that stuck out to me or ones I remembered fondly. That sucks you lost contact with one of your cousins. I thought people were easier to track down now because of social media but I guess it depends on luck sometimes. I have a Facebook but I barely use it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Aw, I like the feeling of nostalgia this post has. The whole post actually reminds me of a podcast I recently listened to, about how you choosing to move forward doesn’t mean you leave people behind, that they choose to stay behind even though you invite them to move forward with you. Sometimes, though, they choose to stay behind because they don’t know what to move forward towards. It seems like that was the case with you! Everyone moves at different paces and there’s no rule that we all have to move at the same one. I feel quite behind other people often, too, so it’s a feeling I know well 😦 It’s sad that you two don’t keep as much in touch and goof around the same anymore.
    But still, that sounds so nice and cozy to be back in that room as a guest in a comfortable house. I hope you had a lot of fun here in the Jerz 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Part of the reason why I haven’t kept in as frequent touch with her is because she’s been busy with a residency program she had to complete after getting her medical degree. And then the reason for her move now is she’s seeking to obtain her license in another state. So it’s been serious business for her all this time, lol. I admit a part of me felt like, “wow, she’s really going places in life” and wondered if we were even on the same page anymore. Yes, I have seen her in the last few years during some holidays or if she had specific plans and was stopping by for a few hours. Anytime the conversation has shifted to work or general adulting stuff (moving homes, boyfriend-girlfriend drama, salaries, driving, etc), I basically do the listening rather than talking because I feel like I have nothing to contribute in terms of having experienced those things for myself.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ohhhh shoot. Yeah residency stuff can be pretty crazy @_@ I can see why she’d be quite preoccupied with that. I feel the same whenever people ask me what I’ve been up to or how I’m doing.. I’m just like.. every single time “same old” haha I really never have any updates or anything to contribute either…


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