Track name: Girls Chase Boys
Artist: Ingrid Michaelson
Album: Lights Out
Played 1,025 times
Track name: Restless Dream
Artist: Jack's Mannequin
Album: People And Things
Played 2,703 times
I first fell in love with Towson when I was eight years old. I remember it all happening: sitting in my playroom filled with American Girl Dolls and my karaoke machine where I’d play radio host, my best friend Christina and I talking about how one day we’d be old enough to go to the Towson Town Center on our own. We’d drive cars and wear bras and talk to boys. It’d be just like the board game we played dozens of times over. We’d have credit cards and our own money. It was intangible and fantastic.
And then I turned 11. The struggle became real. I was enrolled in an all-girls school and I was so scrawny I couldn’t fit into jeans. The idea of the mall as some mythical place had vanished because at 11 it was my hell on earth. Every trip was long and tiring and concluded with crying or fighting. I didn’t want to wear cute clothes. I wanted to be at home playing kick the can or exploring in the woods.
As it turned out, this was the year I’d witness my first shooting, forever correlating Limited Too with a man bleeding out at the jewelry store across the hall. I can’t say I was panicked by the sight. At the time, I felt separated from the instance. This was back when cops only shot robbers and robbers only shot cops and random strangers weren’t apart of the chaos. But I still remember my mom holding my 18” hair back as I vomited in a nearby public restroom once it was all over.
At some point I stopped being physically awkward. I turned fifteen and the mall became a new vision of freedom. Gone were the day’s of braces and trips to Claire’s for roll-on glitter. Mom would drop me off at the Commons to see a movie but more often than not we didn’t even go inside. We’d stroll York Rd for ice cream and huddle in our little circles of friends.
When I was sixteen I started going to shows. And then Towson just got weird. We’d hang out on the roof watching the boys skateboard, we’d sit for long periods of times with the homeless and pan handlers who were college drop-outs and runaways. We’d play frisbee in the cemetery while some smoked pot. We’d run our hearts out for fear the cops were going to catch us after kicking a dodgeball off the roof and landing on the windshield of a strangers van.
At seventeen I’d watch my friends drink from water bottles full of vodka. I made out in the stairwell of the garage for hours, exchanging first and silly ‘I love you’s’. I actually shopped and I enjoyed it. And I ate entirely way too many pretzel dogs. I watched my friends become rockstars upon the dingy stage of the Recher Theatre.
At eighteen I got nostalgic and Towson became the backdrop for MySpace photo shoots with my closest girlfriends. I’d hole up in the bookstore for hours upon hours. I’d get utterly lost in my time there. On particularly warm days I’d drive up just to sit on the benches and watch people go by.
At eighteen I also left for college. And the place that had become such a deep-rooted portion of my childhood became my beacon. I’d drive home from college in Virginia every single weekend. Seeing the lights of the mini city as I pulled off I-695 never failed to alleviate the weight I felt being away. It was my safe haven. My lighthouse.
At nineteen I fell in love with my best friend. I became submerged in Towson Univeristy and after a year away I moved out of Virginia and back to Towson. My parents purchased my first house and I had my first roommates. My house saw it all and it sometimes amazes me these plaster walls still stand from all of our late night antics.
Between nineteen and now was a blur. It’s been so much, so fast. I went to college, broke up with my boyfriend, joined a sorority, quit my sorority, started Invisible Children with my best friends, got a new and less crazy roommate who became my best friend, graduated college, worked for my dad, became a booze hound, fell head over heels for my bartender, dated my bartender, bought a dog, had my boyfriend move in, bought another dog, and watched my best friend move out.
I’m twenty-five now. And here I sit at my kitchen table in my little cottage in Towson where I’ve been living for six years. The mortgage and the bills and the deed all now my own. To outsiders I may just be living in a bubble, afraid to grow and step outside the ‘drama of my friends’ or the comfort of home. But I’d like to argue that’s not true. Sure, I could leave. I could pack up my bags and live somewhere else. I’ve been a lot of other places. I’ve had the opportunity to live in a lot of other places. But I don’t.
Towson has my heart wound tight. It’s like finding the love of your life at fourteen. Everyone keeps telling you you’re missing out… but are you? Just because you got it right the first time does it really mean you have to leave it to experience more? I’m not saying this is it. I know that Towson isn’t my end all. I’m just saying that if it was, it wouldn’t be the worst thing.
How’s that for a #ThrowBackThursday?
Yeah my tongue will let it slip, why’d I do those things I did
I can taste it now, oh no, oh no
I’ll try my best, how much do I invest?
Like cardiac arrest, high voltage in her lips
101 in 1001… revisited
I started this list (and never finished it) in 2010 so it has to have been 1001 days since. I’ve bolded all the things I managed to accomplish.
- 1. Drive cross country (I drove half cross country)
- 2. Learn to drive a boat
- 3. Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen
- 4. Put my old scrap-booking gear to use and make a recent scrapbook.
- 5. Write my college senior letter to myself (My one from high school was life altering to read 4 years later)
- 6. Save my coins in a jar until I reach 100$
- 7. Purchase a Canon Rebel
- 8. Learn how to use said Canon Rebel
- 9. Start a personal portfolio
- 10. Travel to Canada
- 11. Travel to California
- 12. Keep a clean car
- 13. Keep a clean home
- 14. Paint my upstairs family room and replace the downstairs carpet with hardwood floors!
- 15. Graduate college
- 16. Commit to a relationship
- 17. Go surfing again
- 18. Take and pass the belay test at Earth treks
- 19. Build my upper arm strength
- 20. Get to 120lbs
- 21. Start a garden
- 22. Cliff jump
- 23. Put my Scuba Certification to use and dive
- 24. Visit Christina and Ben in Antigua (In my defense they left way before 1001 days)
- 25. Find myself still committed to Invisible Children
- 26. Figure out the symbolism of the number 26 in my life.
- 27. Make a batch of Bahamian style Swidgel
- 28. Dive for conch
- 29. Visit Coach McCoach’s grave
- 30. Send a care package
- 31. Get a pedicure
- 32. Go deep sea fishing and reel in a fish without anyones help
- 33. Write a poem that I am proud of
- 34. Write a message in a bottle
- 35. Create something made entirely of washed-up beach material
- 36. Make a donation to Maryvales Cross Country/Track team
- 37. Buy someone an edible arrangement
- 38. Prepare a steak on the grill
I certainly did not accomplish very much on this list but it’s still cool to see the changes that have happened over three years.