The Very Worst App
Do you remember what you did four years ago today? No? Good. You probably don’t necessarily need to.
I know I sure don’t, but thanks to Timehop I get to relive every single post. Let’s talk about that. I completed college in five years (Bachelor’s and Master’s) and when I first started posting my thoughts on Facebook and Twitter I am convinced the world’s intellectuals wept. 18 year-old me had absolutely NOTHING of substance to say. I’m not all that convinced that 23 year-old me has much to offer either, but of this I am sure: At 18, I said some dumb shit.
I was absolutely carefree and without shame. I shared statuses about skipping class and flying kites (hence the C I got in Bio Lab freshman year, oops), I discussed whether or not I should buy the chocolate chip or peanut butter Cliff bar, and people liked it! Any passing thought merited a status, and glory, do I regret a lot of them.
Perhaps this is why Snapchat is so popular; you put ridiculous content into the universe and in ten seconds it disappears. Brilliant.
I’m sure many of you will agree that summer is the all-time best part of college. No school, chill hours and you get a tan. What’s not to adore? I worked at a summer camp for two summers, met some of the coolest people on earth, and spent my time in Chacos, covered in dirt and freckles. I wore bro-tanks like they were acceptable and never took my hair out of a pony tail.
The summer after my junior year I studied abroad in Morocco. I stood on a cliff overlooking the seam of the Mediterranean and Atlantic and jumped in. I was lead by bedouins in blue kaftans while riding a camel through the Sahara desert. I sang and danced with them under the blue velvet midnight sky. I did Ramadan.
Last summer I interned here in DC. I worked for the Department of Commerce and lived with some of my best friends. I mused about freedom and democracy at the feet of Abraham Lincoln. I spent rainy Saturdays reading in the circle room of the Library of Congress. It was bliss.
You know what I’m doing this summer? I’m hustlin’ to make a buck! I’m in that ridiculously miserable bit of post-grad life where I’m really broke and the cashflow is less than ideal, and I’m really waiting for that Master’s degree to start paying off. Spoiler alert: it hasn't yet. Two years ago, I was hanging out with all my friends; now they are married and living in Dallas, Houston, or wherever else 23 year-olds move when they get married. It sucks.
When I was 11 I had growing pains. It felt like my bones were bruised. I remember that my feet hurt and my whole body felt uneven, stretched too many ways at one time. At 23 I feel as if I have the same growing pains, but instead of my body, it’s my whole life. My friendships are all different, so when I see the snapshots of my past on my Timehop newsfeed each morning, I feel like I’m regressing. I’m not speaking Arabic, I’m not teaching middle-schoolers how to kayak and I’m not having deep thoughts about freedom.
Instead, I’m trying to learn to budget and how to move past friendships that are perhaps best left in college. I can’t help but question how I got here. Is it normal to wonder if I’ve done right by my 18 year-old self, even if she is ridiculous? I think that if I still have Timehop next year there will be very few statuses from this summer. Very few things worth updating. Is this what it's like to be a grown up? Am I also going to begin disliking new pop music and dating accountants named Allen? Ugh.
On second thought, I think I’m going to delete the dreaded app. I can conjure up my memories at anytime, and if I really want to see a status about movie quotes that I thought were intriguing, I can just scroll down to 2011 on my newsfeed. Maybe I don’t need to compare my life now to the Kodak-perfect Instagrams of yesteryear. I think I may just have what it takes to make the present work out for me. I don’t have to daily bear the nostalgia of journeying into the past.