I need my blog to not be a manifesto of the aimlessness of my mid-20s. I tweeted something to this effect the other day because I could feel the negativity pulling me downward and turning everything I wanted to write into extended essays on how and why my life sucks. That’s not my intention with starting this blog, which I’ve created to document my year as a graduate student in the UK, beginning with the months of preparation leading up to it. It stems from the simple fact that I regret not writing more about my time abroad as an undergraduate. Although it’s nice, in a way, to keep some memories to yourself, to have some part of your life secret and private, there are times when I wish I had a clearer picture of what it was really like.
I also have a tendency to remember things along some sort of artistic line — through a song, say, or through a photograph. These are more than memories or projections; these are the manifestations of a feeling and a sentiment, of a place, of a person. A face. An accent. A street. In this way The Verve’s A Northern Soul is not just an album I listened to a lot while I was in Brighton; it’s North Street. The bank I used to pass, with the one stone where young men (presumably) had scribbled in permanent marker “we are the mods” — the history of the Mods & Rockers that I wasn’t even there to see, the search for Quadrophenia Alley — the Subway I would pass that did not smell like any Subway in the United States. The concrete jungle lack of charm of this particular area, the darted runs across the street ahead of the buses. The music doesn’t conjure these memories; it is these memories.