One of my all time favourite feelings is nostalgia. I enjoy spending time reminiscing and I love the warm, happy, feelings and memories it brings but I also, strangely, enjoy the sadness that comes with it. I’ve tried to work out why it makes me feel sad, or wistful, and I think it’s a combination of the yearning for reliving an earlier moment in time; the rose tinted glasses effect making the past seem better than it actually was; and jealousy of the younger me who could have done things differently and who had their whole life ahead of them.
I can get sent down a nostalgia-filled rabbit hole from a song, a place, a photo, a smell, a TV theme tune or a random memory that pops into my head. I’ve spent many an evening thinking about the social awkwardness I felt at school; the enjoyment I felt from messing about on the river; the absolutely brilliantly fun times I had with housemates at uni; and the anxiety and excitement of previous relationships. It can be a real emotional rollercoaster but memories are full of feelings and I like that.
In a lot of cases my memories are with people who are no longer in my life and that brings me a lot of sadness. It’s hard to explain but I know that when I reminisce I know that nobody else is thinking about that particular memory at the same time as me and this also makes me feel strangely lonely. It’s as if the memories and little moments I look back on are things that I only I find worthy of cherishing.
As a random example, if I hear the song “Undivided Love” by Louise I can’t help but think about being in performing arts class at school and the feeling of adoration I had for the girls that were practicing their dance routine to that song. This gets me thinking about school and the friends I had, the people I fancied, and just how simple life felt back then making me wish I could go back. This yearning makes me more nostalgic and so the feeling grows.
How do others feel about nostalgia? Do you enjoy the mixed emotions reminiscing brings?