The word nostalgia comes from this nost meaning the “homecoming” and then algia meaning pain, the pain of homecoming, but really meaning the pain of wanting to return home.
It started as meaning homesickness, this kind of feeling of pain and just this kind of suffering feeling that comes from being far away from home and missing home.
But it’s come to mean more about missing the past, more about this idea of missing the good old days.
Wouldn’t it be nice to go back to the good old days? Now usually, for the most part, it seems like this is not a very helpful feeling to have, because we really don’t have any way to go back into the past.
There is no way to turn the clock back.
So wanting to do that seems like kind of a misplaced feeling, kind of just an energy hole, energy sink, that if, you know, I just wish I could do something that’s impossible, then I’m really not getting anywhere.
So that’s always been my feeling, really, with nostalgia, is you know, the basic idea is that it seems like it’s kind of pointless.
But hey, feelings are feelings.
We can’t just- you know, we can say logically it doesn’t make any sense, but if we have a feeling, then it’s coming from somewhere.
There’s some reason we have that feeling.
So if we express it as “Oh, I really, really, really want to go back to the past.
I want to reverse time, and I want to time-travel.
I want my real-world life to not be real, and I want an imaginary life to be real”: well, that seems like it’s not going to get you anywhere.
But there’s something in that feeling that is real.
And maybe that’s how it is with any feeling.
We have a feeling, and it’s simply a feeling, but then we then interpret it.
We decide what we think that feeling means, and then we come up with a whole story attached to it, to kind of make sense of it.
But what can we do with this feeling of nostalgia, wanting to go back to the past? It seems like one thing about it that I like is, if I think about my state of mind as a very, very young child, there’s a certain kind of sense that the future is open.
My life is just beginning.
Anything can happen.
The world is this amazing, mysterious place, and there’s all these people that are having lives, and you know, I could have any life, and anything could happen.
This kind of feeling of freshness, of a new life beginning.
And then, of course, over time, time goes by, things become less fresh, people get older, get sort of automatically entrenched in certain habits and certain expectations for the way the world is.
Not to say we can’t be surprised still, but it’s less of an automatic position, the idea of everyday being a surprise.
I think being a young child, every day is this “Wow”, completely new.
“I have no idea what’s going to happen.” The world is just so full of wonder and mystery.
But it seems like it’s really hard to hold on to that feeling of awe and wonder and mystery.
Of course, I still know it’s there.
I know that the universe is full of wonder and mystery, and it is amazing to be alive.
So I still have that feeling, but it doesn’t have that same freshness and intensity that it had when I was very young, because now, after all these years getting older, I just kind of get used to things being a certain way.
And it’s like well, yes, it’s true that the universe is far beyond my understanding, but you know, there’s certain ways that I kind of expect things to kind of be the same.
And even if I think about it and it doesn’t make sense, because I really don’t know, and we can be surprised, surprisingly surprised, surprisingly how much we can be surprised, because we really don’t know anything for sure, and yet it’s so easy to- it’s so natural to just get into a routine where we just expect things to be within certain parameters, and that’s the world that we expect.
But there’s something about that young child beginning life mentality that opens that up and gives the feeling that anything is possible.
So when I get back to those triggers of nostalgia that take me back to very early life, I think that that feeling of the openness and freshness is something that we maybe could all use more of.
So what do you think about this topic of nostalgia? And does your childhood memory also come with such a feeling?
#nostalgia #freshlife #newlife