POV: Lifetimes.

POV ("point of view") is a series that addresses many of the same themes covered in my Equals Record column: growing up, saying yes to adventure, learning to embrace a quarter-life crisis. Each POV entry will include a photograph and a short reflection based on what’s pictured. While my previous column focused largely on ideas, POV will focus on moments - glimpses, glances, tiny stories.  

I majored in creative writing in college, studying with a small group of students who'd chosen a fiction concentration. We workshopped two or three times weekly, traded advice, got to know one another through our stories - which is, as it turns out, a very intimate way to know a person.

I was broken-hearted the day of our last workshop. It seemed wrong that we should graduate, and move away, and continue our lives without each other. I found myself thinking, crazily, I wish I could grow old with all of you.

This was a theme with graduations. At my high school ceremony, a classmate made a speech. “I finally found a place where I belong,” he said. “And now I have to leave.”

When I was twelve, I boarded a plane with my parents after dropping my older brother off in Berkeley for his first year at Cal.  Stunned, I’d thought, home will never be the same without him. It hadn’t occurred to me that at some point in our lives, he wouldn’t be a part of my every day, that we’d travel and choose our own cities, that we’d say goodbye at airports and see each other at Christmas.

Years later, I'm in Williamsburg, a place that feels like a college town where very few people are actually in college. Everyone, it seems, is twenty-five and an artist. Everyone wants to make friends, start conversations, stay out late. There's a tag around town that reads, a city of children. 

Everyone's young. Everyone's creative. Everyone moves.


On the first night of summer, I climbed a ladder to the top of a loft building in Chelsea with a group of friends. It was 1 AM. 

Scott, who'll leave Brooklyn for New Orleans come August, was on the phone. “I’m going to stay out a little later,” he was saying. “I can’t leave. This is one of those moments.” 

It was. 

Music blared in the apartment below us. The air was warm, winter was over. The moon was full, or at least appeared to be. 

“Let’s spend our lives together,” I said to no one, and to everyone. I rattled on about where we’d live, the places we’d explore, the names of our children. “We’d have houses all over the world,” I continued, laying back onto concrete. “We could rotate, move together.”

I rolled onto my side. The sky glimmered, each flicker a palpitation. “Stay,” I said to Scott.

The sun rose. I didn’t sleep.

You can find my previous POV entries, here, and the archive for my personal essay column on the Equals Record, hereThank you so much for reading.


  1. So many of these POV posts make me want to live in NYC. I've been lusting after it for the past couple of years, even though I love LA to death and back. I wish I could be in both cities at once. Willamsburg sounds like my kinda place. Beauteous writing, m'dear.

  2. This broke my heart. I hope you and your friend Scott find your way back to each other.

  3. lovely lovely lovely lovely lovely.

  4. This is beautifully written piece of your life's "those moments". I've read this post and your "Snapshots" from Looking Forward series. Well done.

  5. Life is fugacious. Enjoy those unique moments. Well done.

  6. beautiful. thanks.

  7. This really resonated with me. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Rachel, thank you! And I think you'd love Williamsburg. If you ever make it out, please let me know!

    Brianna, I think we will! He's the best.

    Raquel, thank you so much.

  9. Beautiful writing as always. This column reminded me of my college time in Japan when we all had to graduate (had to..!). Great post and thanks for sharing it, shoko! xo akiko

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