As you grow older, it always is a crazy journey to look back and see some of the things you have done or been drawn to all throughout your youth. Taking one of those trips down memory lane is always a slippery slope. You can look back and just think “what was I thinking” or “that was it” within a moment of recollection. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Some of these trigger nostalgia so good it might make the hairs on your arms stick. Some things are so drilled into our memory that we remember every waking detail about them, and no matter how old you get they never get old or how good or bad of a situation it was.
With all the down time of COVID disrupting and slowing down your life, it could be a good idea to take a trip back to an older time and revisit some classics. Music, videos, websites, TV shows. It all works depending on how much you devoted to each or devoted your down time to something not listed in your youth. Memory lane is crowded with all different interests, people, and places. It has a soundtrack, leading actors, and supporting roles. It is a completely other world under your interpretation. Sometimes it is spooky and sad, other times it’s cheerful and comical. They say don’t dwell in the past, but why would you not want to look back and smile (or cringe).
Back to the nostalgia triggers though, which is mainly what we are talking about. The things that take us back to that time, palace, or situation. Some are much broader while others are pinpoint accurate. Similar to some of the points in the piece AN ODE TO MUSIC, music can take us way back and to certain times and places. It is one of the most powerful nostalgia triggers. Another one that carries a lot of weight is the camera roll and even older photos that might be stored on your laptop or in physical form from a film camera. These obviously take you back to the exact moment, as it is a freeze frame of what’s going on. You might wonder why you wore your hair like that or gawk at the way you dressed. Or you might be incredibly proud of the moment in question. There should be a little bit of both, because no ones perfect.
Next on the list are things you consumed in your younger years on a regular basis. Things that are easy to pinpoint are TV shows, video games and movies. When you are younger, your nightlife career is maybe having friends over to your house. In which you are most likely watching something or playing something. The shows you shared with your friends always hold a special place in your heart, as remembering them brings you back to all the sleepovers and fun nights spent with pals. Especially with video games as well, whether it was Call of Duty or Tony Hawk pro skater. Obviously this all depends on the generation in which you were born in, but most reading this most likely are in the younger age gap. As you grew older, it might have been sports or cruising around town on bikes. The more explicit and funnier memories most likely come from the time you were off the leash.
This downtime is also a great time to rekindle past friendships or take time to go back and reminisce on how much your life has changed in comparison to the photos you are looking at. Your friend circle starts to change as you grow. You might have lost some middle school friends when you went to different highschools. And the same idea lends itself when you head to college, especially if you leave the state you called home. But looking back, you probably will remember all the good times spent with friends you might not have heard from. If you haven’t talked to someone you used to ride around with, shoot them a text. The phone is so powerful that we can send a message all the way across the world in less than 10 seconds. Don’t let time intimidate you. They will most likely be happy to hear from you. Or not.
However you plan on spending time in the rearview mirror of your life as it cruises down the highway, make sure to not keep your eyes off the road for too long. Like stated in the first paragraph, you don’t want to live in the past. Using those nostalgia triggers is an easy way to stay present but visit the past. What has happened has happened, and if you think of how you could’ve changed it you’ve fallen into the pothole in which this article was not meant to send you into. Everything good and bad happens for a reason, and is just another chapter in the story of your life. You are the author, and can always lead the tale into whichever way you want, but the writing is in permanent ink and there are no drafts. Once one line is written it is set into the paper page. Just keep writing and when you feel like it, flip back to a previous chapter.