I’ve been feeling very nostalgic this past week, which for me is often a bad thing, but for a change it was really fun this time around. The radio station we listen to at work was playing the Nineties Mania countdown. It’s definitely not my radio station of choice, but this week it was songs I hadn’t heard for years, songs that reminded me of growing up, embarrassing moments during high school and songs that just made me laugh at how ridiculous they were, yet how much we love/loved them.
All My Life by KC and Jojo made me giggle as it was me and my first boyfriends ‘song’ after we held hands to it while ice skating on our first date; Stop by Spice Girls reminded me of performing the actions and lip syncing with friends and thinking that when we grew up that we were going to be the next big girl group and Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice just cracked me up as it always does. My workmate of a similar age and I spent most of the week reminiscing about what all the different songs had meant to us growing up and how important all our dreams and dramas had been at the time. I thoroughly enjoyed both the memories and the songs.
Nostalgia is such a strange thing. For me it’s usually a wistfulness for days passed, days that were supposedly much better than now. But were they really? I’m pretty sure it’s just my brain tricking me, glossing over the hardships as if they never existed. I walked through my primary school a few months back and I felt sad the entire time. So much of the school has changed (well it has been 20 odd years!) and for some reason that upset me. My time at primary school wasn’t particularly good, I didn’t have many friends and I was teased and bullied and yet here I was feeling a sadness for buildings that I was happy to leave behind when it came time to move on to Intermediate school.
Just the other day I was wandering through town, looking at all the rubble, empty lots, half fallen buildings and the myriad new buildings and features when a huge sense of emptiness struck me to the point that I had to leave. My city is not what it was. Two large earthquakes and thousands of aftershocks have seen to this, but it only seems to be when I’m in the city centre, one of the areas that was affected the worst that I get sad about it, even though I see reminders elsewhere daily. Again, the time I did spend in the city centre back in the day wasn’t anything to rave about. There were some fantastic times but there were also some bad times, it’s funny how my mind only associates the lost buildings for the good times that I sometimes miss though.
I get nostalgic a lot. Seriously, a lot. Smells, sounds, photos, all these things trigger memories in me that instantly make me smile or cringe, often quickly followed by sadness of how those times are gone. I’ll get a nostalgia trigger, focus on it for a while and then get upset at what could have been, completely forgetting that my life is really good now! So much better than it was during the times that I’m pining for. I took a long time to grow up and find myself and I often find nostalgia to be a bit of a knock back for me. I know that instead of crying over what isn’t anymore I should be remembering these experiences fondly (or being glad that they are over in some cases) and then moving on, its easier said than done though.
It was nice to have a week of nostalgia and not get upset by it. The countdown the radio played triggered so many memories in me, some good, some bad, some downright hilarious, but the cool part was that during the voice breaks the DJ was reading out messages from other listeners who were having similar memories to me, some that made me laugh, some I could relate to and others that made me realise that we all have our little nostalgic things that make us react in unexpected or silly ways. The past however, is the past and while it’s good to acknowledge, it’s not a good place to live. Next time I get nostalgic, I’m going to remind myself to enjoy the memory and then move on and live happily in the present.
Smiles and Sunshine