Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Good Old Days... Maybe

This past week, I've been increasing hit by bouts of nostalgia. Not the normal kind you'd expect from someone who just graduated high school, but weird longings for random events. For instance, I was looking through my photo roll on my phone a few days ago and found some pictures from my trip to Universal Studios in Florida a few months ago. Ever since I saw those pictures again, I have felt this strong urge to pack a suitcase and travel to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I look at the photos and all I want to do is walk through Diagon Alley and sit in front of Hogwarts and drink Pumpkin Juice and ride a Hippogriff again.

On a more regular basis, nostalgia will hit me when I rewatch a movie that I used to watch constantly. Monsters Inc. was my absolute favourite movie when I was seven, and a few weeks ago I watched it again in honour of the upcoming sequel. I remembered every single line and laughed at all the same jokes, plus I understood the adult humour that completely went over my head as a child. That movie represents a section of my childhood that I probably wouldn't remember as well otherwise.

But the biggest source of nostalgia for me is music. I am one of those people who never leaves the house without my iPod. There are certain bands and even complete genres of music that I only listen to during certain seasons of the year. Because of this, I often go through a sort of "journey through my past" whenever I hear a song that reminds me of a certain time in my life. This occurred a few days ago when I listened to a few songs from Ellie Goulding's Halcyon album released last fall. I listened to that album every single day for two months driving to and from my community college campus, and to this day, every time I listen to it, I visualize spicy chai lattes and cold, cloudy weather and school and long car drives.

But nostalgia, as nice as it is sometimes, can be tricky. Usually when I'm reminiscing about the past, I don't remember the not-so-good details. While Ellie Goulding may remind me of my favourite parts of last fall, her music rarely brings back memories of how challenging last fall was for me while I was trying to juggle school and a job. And of course, we all know what it's like to look back on our childhoods - we didn't realize how easy we had it until it was gone. We as humans have always had a problem with glamorizing or mis-remembering the past, sometimes with not-so-great results. So while it's fun to remember the past and look back fondly on old memories, I also have to remind myself to learn from the negative aspects of my past.

"There's a certain nostalgia and romance in a place you left behind." - David Guterson

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