Hamel: Happy Journal #16


Columnist Peyton Hamel walks nostalgically down memory lane, hoping to recapture what she knows is truly important. 

Peyton Hamel

Today I find myself in a relatively nostalgic mood. I’m back home and I’m forced to think, to reminisce, to remember. 

I returned to my part-time job this last weekend by being swarmed at the doors by my co-workers with smiles, hugs (even though it’s definitely illegal) and laughter. We were shouting memories at each other about how milk was sprayed all over the ceiling one night because one of us dropped an open milk carton or how we smacked each other with rags during closing duties (maybe there was blood, maybe there wasn’t). 

To think I had almost forgotten about these wonderful memories, these wonderful people. 

Without this pandemic, I wouldn’t have been able to return home for another summer. I would be in Idaho conducting research, working 40 or more hours a week. I would still be happy, but it would have looked very different than my reality now. With this pandemic, I was able to return home and see the people I left here who are all on their own crazy adventures. This one last time has become another time. These connections aren’t watered down by more time passing; instead, I would argue, they are that much stronger. 

I have reconnected with so many people and touched so many lost memories, I’m overwhelmed. I can finally slow down and ask, “What have you been up to for the last year?” 

Have you been able to reconnect with someone? An old flame to check up? An old high school classmate? An old co-worker who you spent hours laughing with instead of working? 

Take the time. I promise you, there is nothing to regret. Let this be a lesson to us for the future: don’t let a job or other responsibilities get in the way of you reconnecting with those who shaped who you are today. 

I hope we perceive time differently when our duties surge back in respect to what we decide to prioritize in our lives.

I won’t be making that mistake again.

Peyton Hamel, a sophomore with a double major in genetics and English.