I reread the same books that make me feel a million things, over and over again. I carry two around in my purse, just in case I have a second to stop and relive the words. The sentences highlighted under my fingertips cut deep into my heart, for any number of reasons. I love to laugh, to feel the urgency in someone’s words, to feel that slight tinge of pain through a character’s words in a story I know so well. I love knowing that the character feels so strongly about what they are saying, as if they’ve never felt that strongly about anything ever before. To feel so vulnerable, you think everyone is going to walk out of your life, only to find that the good ones stay. I reread these words, sentences and passages and put myself into the novel, as if I were living in this literary dream, I too feel so strongly about.
I rewatch all the same movies or shows that have made me smile, laugh, cry or wonder for the last ten years. I love seeing the reactions and the look in the actor/actress’s’ eyes when they are in a difficult or funny scene. I love the way a person’s true talent, can make you feel like they’re not even acting anymore. They make you feel, even though they’ve reread and rehearsed these lines tens of thousands of times, that it’s their first time on stage and they are adapting to this cinematic world. The talent makes you forget, that when it all goes black, it was all just a script somebody wrote. The script is written by one or few people, but it captures and takes the emotions of an entire cast and audience and throws them up into the air, waiting for them to be caught and felt. I rewatch these movies and shows, the ones I can quote line for line and know exactly how they make me feel, because they remind me of a fictional place that feels all too real.
I re-say all the words I need to say and that need to be heard, frequently. I overuse ‘I love you’ to my boyfriend, if that’s even possible, just to make sure that he never forgets. I overuse silly phrases that make me laugh and tell my friends just how important they are to me, whenever I get the chance. I want to hear the words that set my soul on fire, over and over again, so I never have to forget what it feels like to hear them. I want to be showered with the love of someone, so strongly, that I never second guess their true colors. I want to re-say the things that meant so much to us in the beginning, because they’re still relevant and a big deal today. I want my friends to know how far I’d fall without them and I want to know that I’m wanted in this life for more than convenience. I never want to forget what it feels like to be so alive and so in love, but we do, don’t we? It’s not something we feel all day every day and for that, is the reason why I reach back into familiarity.
I replay the days of sunshine, friends, drinks and laughter in my head each day. Sometimes, when I get home from a long, fun day or spontaneous night of dancing, I replay the laughs and the moments so I never forget how carefree and alive I was, just then. I’d like to bottle up all my good days, all the entirely happy and fun-filled days and watch them whenever I please. I want to stand with Harry Potter and Dumbledore over the Pensieve and watch the good thoughts of my memory cloud my world. And maybe one day, when I’m old and ready to give those memories back, I’ll lay the bottle in the immense ocean, hoping someday, someone who needs just a few extra happy days will find it.
I reread, rewatch, re-say and replay everything familiar to me, because I already know how I’m going to feel afterward. I guess I have been surprised with enough unfamiliar and terrible things, that I just seem to keep my hand on the good moments, praying they don’t blow away. It would be like ripping my favorite pages out of my favorite book and not keeping a close hand on them. Letting them blow away and tumble across anyone, who could pick them up and feel the same words as me. They would feel them so strongly, that they wouldn’t be just mine anymore and that makes me sad. There are days that end that I simply cry over, because I’m not sure when the next time I am going to feel that electricity, that sense of life, will be. I don’t know when I will feel THAT alive again and I find that terrifying. You can have everything you’ve ever wanted: love, friendship, family, money, nice things, etc., and still not feel alive every day. As a great book once printed, “So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.”
What I do know is this: allow your soul to be set on fire. If you can’t light it yourself, be with someone who can. Surround yourself with the other fun kids who carry a lighter or a match box in their high-wasted jeans. Never stop doing the little things, never stop laughing or dreaming of how you can be better. Remember the good days and try to overcome the bad days as best as you can. Feel alive in more ways than you’ve ever dreamed possible, because that is what life’s really about: taking the small things and making them the big things, uncontrollable laughter and feeling so alive, you think you might just burst.