Nostalgia and how it’s pretty much pointless

in Blog

I’m definitely not the only one who enjoys getting nostalgic over things; be it old TV shows or places that bring up old memories. They bring up memories of “good old times”, and I start wishing I could relive those moments, back when everything was okay, I didn’t have a thing in the world to worry about, and so forth.

I’ve learnt a while ago that this last part is because our brain tends to only hang on to the good memories, however. Back then, in the good old times, we did have things to worry about, and not everything was so perfect and nice as we recollect it now. That aside, it’s not what I wanted to talk about.

What I want to talk about is how nostalgia is pretty much pointless. By doing things that induce that nostalgia feeling, you’re trying to recreate a good memory from the past, and relive it in the present time. The sad part is that it simply doesn’t work that way. You will never be able to recreate those exact conditions of that good old past moment you’re trying to relive. The most important part is that you, as a person are no longer the same person; since that moment, you’ve gained experience, seen a lot of things, developed beliefs and probably been through some emotionally moving situations that changed you.

An example: maybe you loved a certain TV show a whole lot as a kid, then you grew up, learned about the birds and the bees, and now you can no longer view the same show without finding sexual references in it, which don’t even need to be there for you to notice them. It doesn’t even have to be sexual references you see in it, you could just as well dislike the show because some concepts in it don’t make sense judging by the new things you’ve learned since.

Another example is thinking back about children’s games you played and enjoyed thoroughly. The memory of these games brings a smile to your face, but actually trying to play them again feels absolutely ridiculous. Note: in this case I’m talking about physical games, not video games, as those magically last forever regardless of the player’s age.

Even though I’m only twenty years old at the time of writing, I find this whole realization pretty saddening. When you are surrounded by responsibilities, it’d be easy if you could just slip back to childhood and do those fun old things. The thing is: You can not do this, as explained above.

We’ll have to live now, and make the best of it. Make now something you can happily reminisce about in the future. I’m going to try it.