This post is part of the A to Z Challenge. Each post will be associated with a letter of the alphabet with the theme ‘Letters to my younger self’.
Dearest tanned-20-year old me,
It’s the last night of your trip to Redang Island with the gang. More specifically, the gang plus others. Well, it was just supposed to be the few of you but then again, the more the merrier, yes? There’ll be a BBQ later arranged by the resort and the boys will be cooking but naturally, the girls will be there to supervise.
Before you go down to the beach to join everyone, you’ll take a picture of your friends barbecuing from the balcony of your wooden house chalet. You’ll want to take a shot without them noticing but Lei Kun will look up and she’ll ask you to hurry up and help. The surprise will no longer be a surprise. Everyone else will look up too and that’s when you’ll have your shot. Everyone will be smiling.
As you head downstairs, you’ll smile and think that tonight is as close to perfect as you could’ve imagined. You’re surrounded by your close friends and by someone that you may eventually love, on an exotic island. You’ll also think that tonight will be the beginning of the rest of all your lives and you’ll be filled with excitement and anticipation. The happiness in your heart has no where else to go but to your eyes and reflected in your wide smile.
And this is why I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, but I have to since no one else will know, but tonight, this wonderful night on the island with stars out in full force, will be the beginning of the end, of all of you as you are. The people you’ll break bread with in a few minutes will eventually be strangers and in ten years, you’ll only be in touch with less than a quarter of those that are with you on the island. Unthinkable but it’s true.
What happens after will mostly be out of your hands and as much as you will want to preserve what you have, these friendships will slip away like sand between your fingers.
So, for tonight, my dear, though you feel that you have already taken so many pictures throughout the entire trip, please take more. Take as many as you can, plant yourself behind your camera, do not allow anyone to lure you away from your post. Photograph the moment when the guitars come out and the singing begins. Record the second when all of you gather around and begin talking about the past and the future. Remember these seconds, take photos of everything.
Because dearest, this is the end of an era.
*this post was written as Bob Dylan’s Make You Feel My Love was playing which brought me back to that night on the island.