text text text A photo of my Grandfather’s<p>My grandfather took so many photos of boats and I have no idea why. I wonder if he photographed them because it was scenic, or if he felt the same the need to document things like I do.

A photo of my Grandfather’s<p>My grandfather doesn’t appear in any of his photos. Because of this, I know what Bob Kemble - a man I have never heard of and don’t know  -  looked like in 1943, while my own grandfather remains a mystery.<br><br>This reminds me of my grandfather's funeral. It was an open casket, and I knew I was supposed to feel sad, but I couldn't comprehend that the body in the casket was my grandfather. I hadn’t seen him in years and that version of him looked nothing like my grandfather. And to this day, I don’t remember what he looked like at the funeral, I only remember the old version of him. text text text My mom’s court reporting notes.<br>
<p>Due to typing quickly in real time, court reporters have to learn what is essentially a new language. My mom has pages and pages of these notes, simplifying every possible sentence into short, single stroke words.<br><br>
I wish I had a book that told me how to talk to my mom. As hard as I try, we are two entirely different people who think in completely different ways. Something that isn’t a big deal to me can become a big thing for her, and vice versa. It sometimes feels nearly impossible to find a balance.

Vandal<br>
NYC, New York<br>April 19, 2019<br><p>
Rather than go out for a few hours then rush back to the train, our plan for Alice's 21st birthday was to stay in the city until 5 am and catch the first train home. We danced at Vandal until it closed, got food at Coppelia’s, after which Vince took the subway home and we went to Penn Station. I didn’t get into bed until at least 6:30 am.<br><br> It was insane, and we would have never done it if it wasn't Alice’s birthday. But that night was the first time in what felt like years that I allowed myself to be free, where I didn’t focus on all the things I had to do. While that night was a blur, I am overwhelmed by a feeling of happiness and love for my friends when I think about that night.

Jose’s Apartment<br>
New Brunswick, NJ<br>May 19, 2019<br><p>Jose’s graduation party was a weird night. I was supposed to be celebrating my friends' graduation, but I was so stressed out I couldn’t enjoy myself and I don’t remember much. There were a lot of Germans there, I do know that.<br><br>I haven’t seen Wynne in a while, but she is currently working at the MoMA. Chloe is currently quarantined at home in China. I have no idea what’s going on with Jose, the only time I saw him after this night was at almost a year later at Chloe’s deportation party.

Hannah’s apartment<br>
Bed-Stuy, New York<br>June 8, 2019<br>
<p>Over a year ago, Austin pointed out to me how I have a “thing” with homes. I’ve never been happy with any place I’ve lived. They’re places I associate with being alone. So when Austin’s friend was kind enough to give us the keys to her apartment in Bed-Stuy for three weeks, I begged Austin to stay there as much as we could.<br><br>But at my friend’s homes, I felt differently. It didn’t matter how many times I went to Austin’s house, Dylan’s dorm, Wynne’s apartment, or Alice and Anthony’s apartment. I always felt exponentially more comfortable in any of these places than I did at my own home.

Our airbnb<br>
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania<br>
January 1, 2019<br>
<p>Our Airbnb host, John, was a wild and eccentric man. Within the first ten minutes of meeting him, he started an hour long soliloqy about how the French government and the Laws of Moses coincide. Though he had traveled all over the world and wasn’t born in America, it is not at all surprising that this man chose to settle down in Philadelphia.<br><br>
I’m so glad Austin likes Philly as much as I do. We talk about someday moving to Philly, a place that has felt more like my home than Jersey ever has.

Main Street<br>
Cambridge, Massachusetts<br>
January 1, 2019<br><p>In Cambridge for the MIT competition for the Rutgers University Figure Skating team.<br><br>
I don’t know why I took this photo. Yes, the neon cranes were interesting, but I take photos to remember, and I cannot fathom why I would want to remember a trip was overwhelmingly stressful and riddled with sadness. I didn’t compete and I didn’t want to. I was overwhelmed with guilt. I wasn’t doing enough as president of the team, I had stopped training, my hope of finding a skating family at school was gone. I failed myself.<br><br>Skating was  my whole life before college, and now I can’t even bring myself to include a photo from it in this archive.

Newark Penn Station<br>
Newark, New Jersey<br>
June 23rd, 2019<br>
<p>This summer, I spent three hours driving each day to go to work then class. When I wasn’t desperately looking for an apartment for the school year, I was working on homework. Things were uncomfortable with my family because of events that happened during the last semester. All of my friends were nowhere near me.<br><br>
I was so beyond overwhelmed, that this period of time didn’t feel real - like I experienced it in a dream. I couldn’t let myself stop and think about it or experience it as a real thing. If I did, I would most likely break down.<br><br>
I then went to visit Dylan, who was living all expenses paid in Newark by his internship. I was beyond happy for him, but there was a part of me that felt disheartened. I dedicated myself to school and work, and yet I never hit a point where I felt like it was worth it, beyond receiving some A's.

Austin’s old apartment<br>
New Brunswick, New Jersey<br>
June 23, 2019<br><p>While I lived in my sublet, I would pass Austin’s old apartment almost every day, since they were on the same street. I used to tell Austin I loved his apartment, probably more than he did. Although Austin only lived with three friends, almost every time I came over, the apartment would be filled with people.
<br><br>Unlike Austin, who could be content with a few close friends, I derive so much of my happiness from being around friends. This probably means I should focus on finding happiness within myself, but in reality, I dream about eventually having a place that’s filled with my friends.

Wawa<br>
East Brunswick, New Jersey<br>
November 23rd, 2019<br>
<p>Somehow, even with our little family having not one, but two art majors, this Snapchat screenshot is one of the only photos we have all together. It’s not a good looking photo and clearly, none of us took it seriously, but I still love it. This is my group. We call each other our family. I truly do not know how I would have gotten through school without them.<br><br>
It’s a reminder of how your friends can become your family.

Marion’s house<br>
New Brunswick, New Jersey<br>
February 29th, 2020<br>
<p>I did not expect to join a new club during my senior year of college, nor did I expect to make several friends in it. Maybe it was the fact we had all spent the last 4 hours together dancing but I was overwhelmed with a bittersweet feeling. I’m leaving the club this semester, and even if I find another dance studio to join, the people won’t be the same.<br><br>
I’ve just found these people, I don’t want to lose them.

Our kitchen in the townhouse<br>
Columbia, Maryland<br><p>I don’t remember anything from the townhouse, but I have a weird sense of nostalgia for it. The way my parents talk about living in Maryland makes me wonder who I would have become if I grew up there. In Maryland, we had a circle of family and friends, and growing up in New Jersey I never truly felt like I’ve belonged here.<br><br>That was also probably because I used to (and still do) keep to myself most of the time, but it still would be nice to grow up with a support group.

The Peabody Hotel<br>
Memphis, Tennessee.<p>We were here for Mumee’s 98th birthday celebration.<br><br>The hotel is famous for having ducks that live partially on the roof and then partially in the indoor fountain. I remember the hotel employees putting down a red carpet so the ducks could waddle their way to the fountain in a grand display. The ducks are a really big deal. <br><br>I don’t remember much about my Mumee.

Our backyard<br>Washington Township, New Jersey<br><p>The landscape of our backyard is completely different. This was before our neighbors and my parents both put up their fences, before my parents put in a small vegetable garden, and before took down the swing set. They took it down for obvious reasons - it had been years since anyone had used it, and the wood was rotten and no longer stable. But it felt like a symbolic end of our childhood.

Our front yard.<br>Washington Township, New Jersey.<br><p>
	I loved my dad's old car because it had the fun little feature of being able to remove the roof. It wasn’t a convertible, but you would detach the roof and put it in the trunk. Yet I only have one memory of the car - my dad driving us to the community pool with the roof down and the windows rolled down, so it felt like a glorified car exoskeleton.

My dad’s birthday<br> Washington Township, New Jersey<br> <p>As I get older, birthdays now come with an underlying feeling of fear. Fear for the future, fear of losing my youth, etc. It doesn’t feel like a celebration anymore. Birthdays now blend together with the everyday. The only thing I distinctly remember on my 21st birthday was a meeting with my boss. The excitement of growing older has faded away.

Plane Field<br>
	Columbia, Maryland<br>
	<p>During one visit to Maryland to see our godparents, who we call Aunt Chris and Uncle Paul, we went to an airplane field. My impression is that we went to see their plane in person, but looking back I truly have no idea if it was theirs or not.<br><br>
	Aunt Chris died several years ago, and Uncle Paul has since then gotten remarried. I want to contact him - to hold onto any last family members we have left - but our relationship now feels foreign. I don’t even know what I would say, in an attempt to rekindle a relationship that stopped existing over 6 years ago. I don’t even know if Uncle Paul would want to rekindle anything. Maybe he’s moved on to a new family, and I should too.

Grenloch Terrace Preschool<br>Washingtown Township, New Jersey<br><p>You’re set on a path, that you don’t question. You will go through elementary, middle, and high school. Go to college. Get a job. You follow the motions. Now, I’ll be graduating from college. I don’t have a distinct path. I apply for jobs, sure, but will I get one I want? Or one at all?

The townhouse.<br>
Columbia, Maryland.<br>
<p>The beginning of my art career. As ridiculous as it sounds, it’s nice to see a time when I didn’t have any doubt surrounding the art I make.<br><br>
Now, with intense case of imposter syndrome, sometimes I’ll feel guilty about choosing to become a designer - as if I’m doing a disservice to people by putting mediocre work into the world. Even if a peer or professor says they like my work, it is near impossible for me to not judge it.

A hotel room.<br>
Somewhere, probably Maryland or North Jersey.<br>
<p>It’s funny how much my grandpa has changed. He is now much skinnier and has less hair. He also has become a lot more eccentric, and our relationship has also become more distant.
<br><br>We don’t have much family left, but I don’t keep in contact with family as much as I should. And truthfully, it’s draining to visit him. I know this is bad and I should make an effort before we lose him, but I can’t find it in me to take that step. Florida, or maybe Maryland, or New York<br>
<p>It’s funny how much information I get from these photos. I have no idea where my parents were, but I know when it was taken: February 19th, 1994.<br><br>
It’s also crazy to see what my parents looked like when they were young. My dad had his red hair that he passed down to my sister and my mom’s hair was much blonder. While going through old photos, my mom is so rarely in them since she was usually the one behind the camera. I guess I have her to thank for this archive.<br><br>
My mom was very pretty. I feel as if I’ve worn her down over the years. The townhouse.<br> Columbia, Maryland.<br><p>I don’t know this view from the inside of my old townhouse. Once, when my family went back to Maryland to visit friends, my parents brought us to the townhouse. It was weird to see a thing that had been a part of my life for three years and yet I had zero attachment to it.

The townhouse<br>
Columbia, Maryland<br><p>This photo was taken before I was born when my parents got Jasper and Kramer, who were half brothers. Kramer was my favorite cat we’ve ever had, he was practically an angel. I wish I remembered more about Jasper. The only memory I have of him was my parents telling me he had died.

A photo of my Grandfather’s A photo of my Grandfather’s<br><p>One time when we were visiting our great grandmother, my parents had my sister and I sit down and ask her about her life. At the time I thought it was dumb, but now I realize I wish I had done that with more of my family. Then I would have more to remember them by than just these photos.

A photo of my Grandfather’s<br><p>I assume my grandfather took this when he was stationed in Japan in the Air Force. I never talked to my grandfather about his time in the military. He must have had so many stories that I wish I got to hear.<br><br>
All we still possess of his time in Japan is a set of nice china no one uses and this photo.

A photo of my Grandfather’s<br><p>I hate that I'll never know. I can never ask my grandfather what he was like during his teenage years, and what made him start up taking photographs. I'll only ever get bits and pieces, but never the full story.

A cassette of Pink Floyd’s The Wall.<br><p>While driving us to art classes at Fleischer, my dad would put on the 70’s and 80’s rock station and quiz us on if we knew which band performed the song that was playing. The joke was that half the time we would guess Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd and we’d be correct. Though my dad tried to train me, I can genuinely only name two Pink Floyd songs, and neither of them are on this cassette. But my dad has a briefcase of cassettes, filled with bands from the 70s and 80s.<br> <br>Someday, I want to sit down and listen to these bands. While on these car rides, I would often grill my dad on his life. He’s done so many cool things that I didn’t know about until I pulled it out of him. I wonder how many other things there are that I don’t know about my dad.<br><br>His first concert was Van Halen when he was 17 years old. When I listen to the cassettes, I think I’ll start with them.

A new address card my mom sent out when she moved to Boca Raton.<br><p>I remember my mom telling me that she went to Florida to visit a friend and while down there, decided she was going to move there and didn’t come back.<br><br>I wish for that kind of freedom.

A matchbook from the Boca Raton Hotel and Club.<br><p>My dad worked there, at a pink skyscraper in Florida. It’s also the place where my parents got engaged. I’ve seen it once. We drove up to the front gates of the building. I felt a weird love for the building, but I have never even seen the inside. My parent’s adoration for Boca and the Hotel transferred to me, in a way.

A label from when my dad went to Germany.<br><p>Our Oma told my sister and I how she wants to bring us to Germany to visit our family there. Our Uroma, who my Oma would visit frequently, died several years ago and I never got to meet her. It feels like we have no family left. Whatever family is still around, contact has become so rare it feels like they’re gone. It’s hard to comprehend that I have a whole family in Germany. When my Oma dies, will I completely lose another part of my family, without even feeling it?

A watch that was my grandmother's<br>
	<p>The watch is very small, I don’t even know if I could wear it comfortably. But when I see photographs of my grandmother around the time when we were born and she was getting treatment for COPD, she definitely couldn’t fit the watch around her wrist.<br><br>
	I was less than a year old when she died, so I only know her through photos, and the photos I’ve seen of her are primarily from the last years of her life. I know the sick version of her isn’t how she would want to be remembered, but it’s the only version I know.

The text written in black is my grandfather's, but the blue is my mom's.<br><p>I thought my mom was trying to document these photographs, but in a whole stack of photographs, this is the only one where she wrote anything. I wonder what else I would learned about my grandfather if she had continued making these notes.

My Apartment<br>
New Brunswick, New Jersey<br>
April 18th, 2019<br>
<p>Though this polaroid was taken on the 18th, I didn’t have it in my possession until almost a month later, right before Alice went home to Miami for the summer, hence the ‘miss you’.<br><br>
That night was the first time in a long time I felt like I had a group of friends I truly belonged to, when I didn’t feel afraid of losing people.