One of my favorite albums turned six this week.

While that may not seem particularly significant, let me elaborate.

I associate different seasons of my life based on what music I listen to. My experiences, emotions, the important lessons I learned. Pushing “PLAY” is like a floodgate of memories; with each song that spills out of my phone’s speakers, I think back to who I was and what I was feeling then.

This album takes me back to my sophomore year of college. To working on a group project for my Psychology class with three other girls on the ground floor of the library while this album played in the background. To crying at two AM when the boy I considered my best friend abruptly cut me out of his life for his girlfriend. To long walks to class, and a concert stalled by a severe lightning storm that I attended with my cousin.

That time in my life feels so foreign to me now. Almost as if I’m watching it on a movie projector. In black and white.

I’m a different person. I’ve grown and changed a lot. I’ve realized important things that I didn’t then.

But in many ways, I’m still the same. I still feel the same emotions listening to this album now. I still miss laughing with those three other girls on the ground floor of that library. I still miss talking to that boy about music.

And I think that’s okay. The memories don’t always die, but they’re not so painful. There’s a nostalgia and a yearning there, but also the acknowledgement that the past can’t be reclaimed from six years lived.

Because now, I have a new album on repeat. And memories of texting with a new friend about it. Of going to a concert together and dancing until our feet hurt. Of living so in the moment that it feels like the ground will never crumble out from underneath us again.

And it’s been beautiful. And awesome. And I don’t want it to end.

I hope in a few more years, I’ll be singing along to another new album in a stadium full of thousands of people. I hope I’ll be texting with this friend again to ask, “what do you think of this album?!” I hope I’ll have new music to connect with this particular period in my life.

And I hope that then I might have grown that much more and learned that many more lessons I can write down and reflect on on a Sunday morning two or so years later.