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"High school was a blur, filled with sleepless nights and unnecessary drama. I still remember the first night we’d stayed there at Nate’s beach house. It was such a foreign idea to us then—so new we thought it almost scandalous. We’d just been kids back then, crawling into our sleeping bags that we’d set out in the front room and laughing at nearly five in the morning. As the years passed by, it’d become a ritual. We would grow apart during the year, but it was the summer that brought us together. Days spent lazing around in the sun, eating sandwiches for three meals a day, camping out on the shore and sleeping under the stars. These moments were what got us through the first few years of college, kept our relationships intact. Even if it were only for one month every year, it was as if we’d come home, back to the faces we’d missed, the people that, together, made up our childhoods.
And then somewhere in between, we lost our way. One of us spent the year in a foreign country, one of us got engaged, one dealt with an “early mid-life crisis”, another dealt with a tragic loss of someone close to her. Other excuses seemed to pile up, such as work and studies, preventing us from revisiting the beach house. I could picture the house growing old and deserted—the wooden porch slowly beginning to show its wear, the refrigerator finally breaking down from its wretched hum to a dead silence, the linens that covered each bed remaining untouched.
It’d been nearly ten years since we’d graduated high school. I don’t know what’d brought us back to the beach this year. Some of us were curious to see what the rest of us had been up to. Some were there to make amends. Some were there, running away from the newfound complexities of life, and others were there to confront them. Either way, there was a certain distance to be bridged between all of us. Even though we’d grown up, we realized that we didn’t have to leave behind the memories of our youth. They were what had shaped our views on life, what made us who we were today. For the first time in what felt like forever, we were all there, together and ready to embark on a whirlwind romance of a summer."
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