Growing Pains (2016)

By Christina Karras
A visual diary through the motions, and milestones, of growing up.

I am an innately nostalgic person, the type to cry when watching the end of Toy Story 3, or old home movies because I feel so overwhelmed - both in a positive and negative way - by the very nature of change; it's unsettling and unforeseen, because it's ultimately out of my control. And now as I find myself graduated from high school, mere months away from waving a bittersweet goodbye to my teenage years like a car driving off into the sunset, that emotion permeates so many moments around me. In year 12 last year, I was constantly conscious of this, and clung to the wonderful yet terrifying knowledge that these were some of the last times I get to experience these token moments of adolescence.

To me the term 'growing pains', refers to the difficulties one experiences throughout these moments of change, living out the stages of childhood, adolescence and adulthood and the innate crisis that comes with growing up, and finding your place in the world. Perhaps the hardest point in time is the one I and most people I know are facing, when you're on the cusp of adulthood, wrestling with the past, present, and future. But no matter what stage of life you are in, the art of reflection is precious and your memories should be treasured, but so should the present. Nostalgia comes from our longing for the past -more often than not in search of an escape from the scariness of the future- but something else I have also realised is that everything is better through rose-coloured glasses and graduation goggles.

Consider this a reminder or a sign; your future will one day be another piece of your past, so do what you will to make it great, even without the ethereal glow of memory.

Click through the collages below for a trip down memory lane - listen with a soundtrack like Joni Mitchell's 'Both Sides Now' (first the original and then the rework always do it for me) for optimal nostalgia.

Christina Karras