Like trees – we grow.
But unlike trees we do not stay in the same place for our entire lives.
With movement, we grow, change and blossom into new versions of ourselves.
Recently I have been feeling incredibly nostalgic, reflecting daily on many memories I hold from many parts of my young adult life. Nostalgia is very common in young adults in their 20’s as this tends to be a very transitional stage in their lives; there’s a lot of change around us and we often reflect on who we were as we are in the change, becoming a new version of ourselves.
Nostalgia is a sense of being in a past moment – I find that feeling nostalgic can be either positive and helpful or the opposite – it simply depends on why the person is nostalgising, what about and in what situation.
Nonetheless, nostalgia is a natural and common thing.
Recently I’ve been thinking about a wide range of things that has happened to me in my life, a diverse array of memories and experiences. I have finished university now, moved to a new city, started a full-time ‘adult’ job and a lot of things have changed causing me to reflect and idolise my previous memories from 1 to 10 years ago.
However it can be argued that nostalgia is a form of self-deception as we can distort and idealise the memories we are thinking about – our memory is not always a reliable thing.
This made me think about how important present-day awareness is.
Yes, nostalgising can give you that warm and fuzzy feeling and apparently people are more likely to nostaligise in the colder months as it actually makes us warmer physically. Sometimes it is lovely to remind yourself of the great memories you hold dear, especially when with friends and family.
When reflecting on my past and nostalgising almost all day, I realised that in those moments there would have definitely been unhappy things going on within my mind as my depression and anxiety really stated to show themselves in late 2009 and early 2010; however some of the memories I was thinking about were in this time frame. I realised that I do not remember the worries I had, the negative thoughts I felt and now I idolise and glamourize the memories I do remember – when at the time I probably did not appreciate them half as much.
The same goes for university, throughout one and a half years of my university life I was incredibly unhappy – I remember this still. But they are not the memories I hold onto or nostaligise about, they are the memories I regret, that I wish has not happened, because when you reflect on what you do and don’t remember surely it is much better to live solely within the present moment.
As I feel low in this transitional period in my life I don’t want to look back and either remember feeling sad or nothing at all because I felt sad. I wanted to create my own beauty in life, my own memories and my own positivity.
I do not wish to nostaligise and feel sad. I wish to nostaligise and feel glad. Find the positives in this change in my life.
The nature of one dull day or week or month does not mean it will always be dull.
Nostalgia is an interesting emotional experience. If we reflect on our past and only see happiness and beauty then we should appreciate the moments we have now rather than always letting our heads be somewhere else – something which I myself am guilty of.
As always – happiness is our birth right. Now and then. Now and always.