My sister’s 40th birthday was yesterday, and of all the things we could do, of all the things that people usually choose to do for such a milestone of a birthday…
We went rollerskating.
My sister is a fun-loving, adventurous person who has a huge heart and is very passionate about a myriad of things. My sister also remains one of my heroes and people to look up to, basically since birth. She never asks for much, so when she asked us to go, I didn’t hesitate. So, it didn’t matter that I hadn’t put on a pair of rollerskates in 20 years, nor that I weigh about twice as much as I did back then.
As soon as we entered the rink, it was like a weird step backward in time. There were a few changes and upgrades, notably the music and slightly updated arcade games. Aside from that, not much else had changed. The design of the skates was pretty much the same as they were back then – shades of brown, with white size numbers on the heels and obnoxiously bright orange wheels. Lanky teenaged “referees” skating around slowly and seemingly disinterested, but not missing a single opportunity to blow their bright orange whistles at any roughhousing out on the floor. The smell of the floor wax permeated everything, but not overly so. The aroma of cheap pizza lingered comfortably. Neon signs blinking, arcade games blaring, and bass bumping in the old speakers made me feel like I was back in middle school when it was the thing to do on a Friday night. Back when all the cool kids lounged in the back, your earlier birthdays were spent in turtlenecks and corduroy pants, you always fretted over whether or not your crush would find you during the couples skate as the lights dimmed, and trying to impress everyone during the speed skate songs.
There were of course a few more noticeable differences, like the 16 year old celebrating her birthday with tiny cutoffs and a face full of Instagram tutorial-worthy makeup and trying unsuccessfully to twerk as “Birthday Bitch” was boosted throughout the rink. But what stuck with me is how much time had left the rink unchanged.
It filled me with more than just nostalgia – it was more of a sense of happiness that skating was still a thing that people were interested in doing. Families, singles, friends – kids, teenagers, adults…everyone was out and having fun.
It also made me terribly regret not staying with something I’d been so apt at and excited about. It made me miss friends and neighbors who are long out of my life or no longer with me on this earth.
Most of all, it made me really want to buy some skates and rollerblades. (I didn’t, but I really wanted to)
Maybe this will be something that I decide to do more in the coming months (I was told there are adult nights, which sound like a ton of fun), but it was just surreal the rush of emotions that I had and processed in three hours. It was so nice to feel so bolstered and excited over something so simple.
What have you guys done lately that’s made you feel this way? If there isn’t an answer to that, I would say go out and do something today that makes you feel alive like that. It’ll do wonders for you.