Nostalgia is a hell of a drug

That constant yearn for something in your past that you may never accomplish visiting again hits us all. I myself can get extremely nostalgic, forever wanting to live in the ‘good old days’. The truth, quite simply is there probably weren’t good old days, just shut up Frank (see what I did there? I’m self aware!). Sure, you may have been richer, slimmer, somewhere more exotic or all of the above but the day to day struggle of being an actual human comes with plenty of issues.

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Take for example being a child. Everyone has those moments where they wish they could revisit their youth; playing on the climbing frame, getting up at seven to watch some cartoons on a Saturday. Your worries were quite simply how long would it take for your parents to notice that it’s an hour past your bedtime or how many lollypops you need to take into class on your birthday.
“But we didn’t have to worry about bills or finding a job.” – True, but can you honestly say that the levels of stress you feel at times in your life weren’t exactly the same as something so trivial back then? In hindsight running around the house stark bollock naked shouting ‘NO CLOTHES ON!’ was indeed an easier time when you were a kid – not that I do that now or anything, but back then you were still worrying about aspects of your life that may even seem laughable now.

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I myself yearn to go back to New Zealand, it was the best year of my life but it’s stupid to think that it didn’t come without hassle. Sure, I saw breathtaking scenery, met some incredible lifelong friends and embraced being a hobbit but under that I was struggling with money, anxiety and a sense of homesickness at times. Those ‘good old days’ didn’t come without complications. I know that if I ever got the chance to go back that sadly, it wouldn’t be the same as before but that’s not to say I wouldn’t find something new and exciting about it.

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A lot of our nostalgic feelings come from a sense of self-pity and doubt in our life choices. We may have taken the wrong turn at a crossroads in our life and regret the outcome, hence wanting to do a U-turn. Maybe you didn’t go to University and wish you had a degree now? Maybe you went to University and wish you hadn’t bothered as it’s amounted to nothing? Maybe you’re David Cameron and shouldn’t have held a referendum? (Hi David, stay away from those pigs with all your free time old chap). It’s normal to feel these sparks of regret but longing for a previous chapter in your life won’t get you out of the rut, moving forward will. I’ll stop with the preaching now.

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Capitalizing on nostalgia is the perfect go to tactic for many businesses now too. It’s effective because we’re all nostalgia junkies desperately seeking our next fix. Take a look at grown adults stopping in the middle of the road to catch a Pikachu on Pokemon Go and reboots of popular films and TV shows like Ghostbusters, Jurassic Park, Star Wars and the X Files off the top of my head. I sure as hell oppose to a ‘Back to the Future’ reboot but if it was to be announced you’re goddamn right I’m going to be watching it. Nostalgia is a human weakness, we crave it, bathe in it, go all wrinkly and prune-like and then spoon the hell out of it, swap numbers however, it never calls us back so we mutate into a clingy, axe-wielding ex trying to contact it.

My point is that living in the past isn’t helping anyone out, especially you. Sure, go and reminisce, chat with friends about it, maybe attempt to take on a similar adventure but don’t reflect too much on what’s already been – I’m speaking from experience, it doesn’t get you anywhere. Perhaps the ‘good old days’ are actually the present and you just don’t know it yet…Perhaps I’m waffling a load of crap and we’re all doomed to live in this nostalgic web forever? C’est la vie, ay?

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3 thoughts on “Nostalgia is a hell of a drug”

  1. This was a really unique post. Good take on nostalgia. I had never thought of it as being deep rooted doubt, but now that you mention it….

    I feel nostalgic mostly when I’m feeling defeated and wanting to throw in the towel. While climbing huge emotional obstacles or feeling exhausted. I want to go back to ‘simpler times’.

    Very much enjoyed this – you’re a good writer…funny!

    Like

    1. Thanks for the feedback! I myself have been known to live in a nostalgic state which I guess is where it came from. You can dig yourself into a rut and it can often lead to depression.

      Like

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