She grabs a bottle of (cheap) wine, pours us a glass or two and giggles hysterically. She’s probably browsing Buzzfeed or something. Suddenly, a hysterical scream. Gaaaa – can’t she keep quiet?
Later she would tell me that she only shouted that day because the summer job she dreamt of just got confirmed. She looked so young, so powerfully young as she told me about it; the world was hers. I smiled and hugged her, finally shouting with her, alongside her.
That’s what time travelling with my sister has been like this past week. She’s 20 something, lives in a tiny student room in northern England and has a lot of energy.
We went to this big campus with a library I wished I could live in, classes I dreamt of taking, and a gym filled with youngsters running off their hangovers. Ads for the upcoming Student Union elections, cool kids with ripped jeans, tattoos, piercings, pink hair, blue hair, loud accents and open emotions.
I walked around, guided by that crazy sister of mine, and I remembered what it felt like to be 20 and careless.
It’s not that I felt old – I felt like I came from a very different place. A place where I constantly thrive to think and work.
While all they do out there is experiencing. It caught me by surprise, because I had forgotten what that lightness was made of.
It’s not that I want that life again either. I’m glad I moved forward. But I loved their spontaneity, her spontaneity. I recognised a younger version of me, though slightly different of course – this annoying exuberance, this endless excitement for anyone and anything.
My sister doesn’t get bored; my sister wants to feel it all, to do it all. Studying, travelling, partying, discovering. She wants to discuss international politics, family matters and the balance between what’s good and bad, all at once and right now. Wine or beer, USA or England, heels or flats, bangs or long hair, a part-time job or a trip to France, The 100 or True Blood?
That is, until she gets annoyed, or grumpy. She would crash on the sofa for hours on end, crawled under a blanket, watching some crap shit, eating some crap food. The light would slowly fade outside and she would just stay there, chuckling, dancing, chilling.
It took me a few days to adjust, but I dived back. I, too, ran away in the freezing cold only to hang out in dirty PJs the rest of the day, eating out of the cereals box, drinking wine and putting the world to rights again. I, too, asked for long, theoretical discussions shortly followed by vast empty moments of nail painting.
Youth. Your heart is as light as your mind is full. Higher highs, lower lows.
And that loud, beautiful laugh of yours. Keep it. Keep it.