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Channing Mink

Art Major, UC Santa Barbara

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Chapter 1.

Recently, time has moved backwards for many. Losing a job you have had for years. Or that took you years to earn. Canceling a trip you have been looking forward to for months. Moving out, but back into the place where you grew up.

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In many ways, it seems that the past has become the present once again. At least this is how I felt while I moved back into my childhood home for two and a half months.

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Drives that feel like muscle memory.

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Familiar landscapes.

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A change in scenery. 

It was back to open spaces, rolling hills, and a break from the typical chaos. 

 

With this came feelings of familiarity, nostalgia, and home. A reuniting with faces I thought defined more of my past than present. Memories begin repeating themselves, the different eras of life overlapping once again. 

 

I‘m no longer surrounded by people my age.

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There was younger.

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There was older.

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And none of the above....

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Back to sibling bonds.

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Getting back into old hobbies.

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Time to finish projects started five years ago.

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Doing anything to pass the time.

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It's almost as if we're watching paint dry.

Chapter 1.5

When it’s time to return to “normal” life, something still pulls me back towards my first home. All I could think of for the past months - friends, fun, freedom - seem somewhat surface level.

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The feeling of being trapped turns into appreciation. An experience I never expected or wanted, but I'll probably never get to have again.

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The grass is always greener.

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A middle ground: I have two places to call home, even two versions of myself, in a sense.

Chapter 2

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Same me, same state of the world, different home - back to my college life.

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From having my own room again, to messy, shared closets.

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From my empty childhood street, to one where it can take hours to find a parking spot.

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Focusing on appreciating a view we will only have for a couple more weeks. A temporary house that has also turned into a home for me.

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Taking mental snapshots of times to remember.

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Adjusting to celebrate milestones.

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Friends have become family away from home.

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In this time of uncertainty, I have become conscious that I am standing on a "middle ground" of life right now. This feeling comes from the fact that, despite their differences, I've realized I call two places home - both the place where I grew up and the place I am finding who I will be in the future.

COVID in the Spring - 2020

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