A Feast of Nostalgia


At first thought, I might have only written today about a taste of nostalgia that was/is the Athens trip… but then I realized how much the transition from August to September has affected my life in the last five years.  Let me count the ways.

5 years ago: My senior year of high school had finally arrived and in August of 2007 I was getting ready for my last season of high school swimming.  My two best friends were on the team, but a year behind me… so the idea of being done was rather bittersweet in that respect.  I remember that each practice and meet carried a sharp awareness within it, forcing me to realize it was my last chance to do the sets, cheers, races, and traditions with my coaches, teammates, and friends.

My mom and dad with me after a dual meet.

4-peat State Champs

4 years ago: I graduated from high school in June 2008 and was preparing to pack for the move to Bellingham for college.  I had lived in the same house for 17 years while growing up and the move north would mark my first big ‘life change’.  I was the last kid to move out (I have two older brothers that went off to college in 2001 and 2005), so I kind of knew the routine – but it was still a little tough those first few September nights in the dorm.

My brothers Steve (left) and Joe (right) with me at my high school graduation.

3 years ago: My parents moved from my childhood house near Seattle to Whidbey Island in July 2009.  In August of that year I was still trying to unpack/re-pack the right things to move into my first apartment on my own.  Little did I know that just a few short days after my sophomore year started at WWU in September, I would meet my Cullen, bond with him over Firefly, and every aspect of my life would be bettered with him by my side.

With Cullen a few months after we started dating.

2 years ago: Both of my brothers got married in 2010, which was a little hectic but a HUGE party for all the families.  The weddings happened almost within a month of each other (Aug. 14 and Sept. 18), all while I was living at my parents’ house for the summer and trying to help them move from a rental to their new home.  The idea of ‘big life events/change’ pops into my head again here.  It was a crazy few months, but the outcome (both weddings, two new sisters-in-law, and my parents’ house) was fantastic.

Joe and Erin’s wedding – Aug 2010

Steve and Amanda’s wedding – Sept 2010

1 year ago: We, my classmates and I, had just completed the pre-departure classes for the Greek trip.  At the end of the week I had managed to get incredibly sick and I knew I still needed to pack for the month-long trip.  Exactly one year ago today, August 23rd, Cullen drove me to Sea-Tac at 5am to fly to Toronto and get a connecting flight to Athens.  It was my first time flying alone (it took 21 years to do it!) and my first trip off of the continent.  I was rather terrified.  The cold/flu hung on for a few days after arriving in Greece – but the weather, people, sites, food, and classes kept me busy and happy enough not to care.  I’ve written and posted some of my memories from the trip here already, but there’s a flood coming on now… so prepare for lots more!

With my roommates on our last night in our Athens apartment – Sept 2011

Now: The tradition of transition continues this year because the August to September shift now marks a change in my future plans in terms of work.  I’ve been teaching private swim lessons for the last seven months for an awesome company and have gotten to know my co-workers and employers pretty well in that time – not to mention most of the kids and their parents.  There are a handful of my kids I will miss seeing every week, but I think the opportunities that lie ahead will change my life for the goodbetterbest.

Next up: more writings from my book!

PS! I have a twitter now (hmm little late?) – follow along @jmwalker17

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About jmmack

Full-time swim coach and pool program manager in the Seattle area. Swimmer, writer, cross-stitcher, HP fan, wife, sister, auntie of two nephews, human to a feisty Jack-Russell mix.
Gallery | This entry was posted in Athens, Creative Writing, Non-Fiction, Nostalgia and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to A Feast of Nostalgia

  1. Pingback: The Shining Marbled City | The Innumerable Uses of Language

  2. Pingback: New Job, New Perspective | The Innumerable Uses of Language

  3. LaVerne says:

    I too love reading your post. Proud of you, you’ve accomplished your schooling and the future awaits you, embrace what you have, take on the challengies and forth we must go.
    Always, Aunt LaVerne :)

  4. Jean Hamlin Chenevert says:

    I love reading your posts – you are an excellend writer!! Keep them coming!! And sending out good thoughts for you and your job search- hoping you get what you want!!!! Love, Aunt Jean

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