I forget; I remember

Early spring always triggers something in me that makes me feel like a teenager again.

It comes in waves, usually only for moments. Sometimes it’s the way the air smells on the first warm night. Sometimes it’s feeling the warmth of the sun disappear the moment you move into a building’s shadow. Sometimes it’s when I feel the pollen in my hair and sneeze.

It happens every year. No matter how my life is going, I’m suddenly dissatisfied again. No matter how filled with love my life is, I suddenly feel lonely. There’s an ache in my chest that I know will go away again when the pollen dies down and the truly warm nights have arrived. I know it will.

In the meantime, I struggle with all this out of place angst that doesn’t belong in an adult body, all these foreign feelings I’d learned to forget. Isn’t forgetting a funny thing? The moment you realize you’ve forgotten something, you no longer have forgotten it.

The moment you realize you forgot what this felt like, you realize you’re feeling it again.

It’s so strange, to walk around feeling like the past is present. Remembering things I know everyone else from that time has forgotten and has no interest in being reminded of. Nobody wants to be a teenager again.

I certainly don’t. And yet, every spring, everything I’d forgotten over the past year comes back again, except my mind and body and mood have to dig deeper to recall the emotions, the spaces I once occupied. Every year, the feelings fight to take over the alien being I’ve become. I at once feel less like myself and more like myself.

I’m everywhere and nowhere. I’m in between. I am both and neither. I am everything and nothing.

I don’t particularly enjoy this little ritual my body seems to indulge in without my permission. There’s a certain shame attached to it, stemming from a buried belief that to feel this way is wrong, but I wonder: next spring, should I not experience a sudden transformation, a reversion back to emotional adolescence, would I miss it?

Would I be happier if it never happened again?

Would I?

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