By Mac Pomeroy
Last year, I made a bit of a spur-of-the-moment purchase. Feeling stir-crazy and wanting to try something new, I bought an instant camera. Initially, my idea was to take photos of stuff around me and make a fun collage. However, as it turns out, nothing happens when you are home 24/7, and I really hate collages.
I guess such should have been expected. So, on my desk the camera went, and there it sat for a while. While I loved the camera itself, there was just no opportunity to actually use it — until recently.
Since I got the first dose of the vaccine, I have tried to start living again. I am trying to go spend some time outside, in a COVID-19 safe environment. Suddenly, it seems like even the smallest moments stand out so much.
The day of my first vaccination, I went to the Jambar office for the first time in a year. Almost like a treat to reward myself for doing it. I used to go there once a week, yet walking up the ramp and through the door, it felt like I was transported into a strange world.
I was quite nervous. While I am an extrovert and I love being with people, my anxiety was reminding me of how long it had been. What if I forgot how to act? Perhaps my presence would just be unwanted.
My anxiety was quickly hushed when I was greeted by people who remembered me. I was able to talk to some of them, laugh a bit. Admittedly, I didn’t get any work done due to how I was feeling from the shot, but in the moment, smiling with people after so long, I felt okay again. I wanted to capture the moment and save it.
These precious moments of our lives go faster than it takes an instant camera to print them, and often we don’t think about it. It is insane for me to consider how a bit over a year ago, I was leaving my American literature class as though it were nothing. I waved goodbye to my peers, not realizing how long it would be until I could do such a thing again.
I don’t intend to overlook more of these moments. I know I am speaking as though I am an 80-year-old, looking back on my youth with sweet sentiment, but these words are genuine. I was foolish enough to not value the time I had with my friends or even sitting bored out of my mind in class.
I received my second dose Wednesday, so I plan to try my best to use that camera. I want to value whatever happens next — not that I’ll suddenly go back to living with reckless abandon. I am still going to be careful. However, now I just want to notice more and value more. From the glistening rainbow bubbles in a car wash to the ridiculous yet hilarious jokes of my friends, I want to try to be there for everything.
Maybe now we could all use an instant camera.