Nostalgia is Respite

I am having this staggeringly serious nostalgic episode, brought about by just recently talking to my two best friends over this past week, and seeing old archived emails from my beloved cousin.

They say nostalgia is painful and unproductive because it unconsciously has you comparing your past to the present, where it gets to a point where you’re doing nothing but sulking and wishing time was brought back to before – to that seemingly ideal moment. In fact, we just think it to be the best days of our lives, because we’ve experienced more things as we grow up, and we forget that we’ve had big problems in the past as well.

But I drop all pretenses and let myself run through this nostalgic meadow, which I daydream to be lost in.

To the cliche of saying “When I was a kid, all I had to worry about was…”, I raise my hand in agreement. As I look back upon old exchanges on email, or old handwritten letters, about ten year olds getting antsy over school, or finding out about a new band, or having misunderstandings with their friends in their newly-moved-to country, I find that there is a beautiful art and poetry in the way children write. There is no room for awkwardness, no room for masks – you say what you want. There isn’t even an issue on grammar, because the excitement of a reply thrills you more than their technical writing aspects.

I miss the simplicity, spontaneity and magic of being a kid, of being a cousin, a best friend to someone. You miss them and drop them mail, you can expect them to send in a reply in a week’s time.

It is inevitable for them, for all of us to find new things, to find new friends, to find new opportunities, but the fact of the matter remains, you are all bound by ties brought about by the growing-up-together factor (for lack of a coherent and catchy term) that stays within all of you.

I’ve had some wisdom knocked into me by my best friend whom I’ve conversed with not too long ago. In non-verbatim, he said that “What does it matter what we call our friendship? It’s not the label that’s important. What’s important is that we all grew up together, and though we’ve grown apart – had new friends and all – the memories we’ve shared is our bond. Nothing’s going to replace that.”

I teared up when I read that chat reply, and I typed out in response about how humbled I was, and apologized for focusing on labels. Truly, it ruins the best of us when we categorize and limit things.

Even now, I believe, sky’s the limit with my friendship and bond with my cousins and best friends. Nothing will ever take away our memories that’s for sure. And in time, we’ll weave new ones into the beautiful tapestry of life. But right now, I’ve nostalgia to keep me companion, to prepare me for long talks over dinner, a decade or so from now, when we’re all reunited.

 

 

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2 comments

  1. I like what you say here. I stumbled across this after going through some nostalgic feelings myself, and indulging in certain types of films with a very nostalgic effect. I searched google ‘is nostalgia bad?’ πŸ˜›
    I don’t know, it does take time out of our day to dwell on these emotions, but they’re just so attractive. I love that melancholy that is attached, it makes me feel alive and stretches my sense of the passage of time.

    Perhaps it helps put our present in perspective, at least, and helps us define and re-ground ourselves as we get carried away with our lives, trying to be someone and trying to obtain something that may not be as in tune with who we are as we think at the time. Looking back can help you remember important life lessons, perhaps.

    I think I’m just trying to justify my indulgence in nostalgia at the moment. πŸ™‚

    1. By all means, justify all you want. I’d have to agree with you that it does help shape us. And “it helps put our present in perspective”, yes, it does remind us of a lot of things – what and where we wanted to be when we were kids, or how we were before. Oftentimes, find it to be an escape, but I do believe we end up reflecting and realizing more things with nostalgia.

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