some decades

When I was a kid riding in the back of the car with my father, he said something like, “three decades ago…” I remember the exact time and place because I was utterly confused at the time.

I wasn’t even one decade of age. Maybe that’s why I struggled with wrapping my head around the concept of being able to reminisce about something that happened multiple decades ago.

Time is currently a strange concept. Throughout this pandemic, every day blends into the next one. It almost feels as if time slowed down. However, in hindsight, this too will (hopefully) feel like a short episode.

Looking back today, I am now able to reminisce about events that occurred multiple decades ago.

There is no time like the present. If you want something, go for it today. Time slows down for no one. Take that leap of faith.

Revisit with caution

Nostalgia is overrated and easy to exploit. As it turns out, people aren’t reluctant to spend top currency for items, services, or experiences that hold nostalgic value to them.

Our brains are tricky like that. As a protection mechanism, they sometimes sugar coat the past for us. How awfully nice of them. As a result, past experiences may seem better now than they did at that moment in time. It’s like an Instagram filter for the mind. Visualizing experiences with brighter, more vibrant colors. Omitting (proverbial) grey rainy days from our memories, while we’re at it.

Agatha Christie once said: “Never go back to a place where you have been happy. Until you do it remains alive for you. If you go back it will be destroyed.” In other words, don’t be a buzzkill and keep the magic alive.

It’s always risky to fall in love with an idea, both past- and present ideas. Thinking back of places where you used to live makes you reminisce about the concept of yourself as a person, and perhaps even miss your former self. That’s a slippery slope. If we are somehow under the impression that we used to be happier in the past, we long for a version of ourselves that is no longer there. In doing so, we neglect the fact that we’ve undoubtedly grown as a person, and in true – dwell on the past – style, regret the passing of time.

I wouldn’t go as far, saying you should never go back to a place where you have been happy. Manage your expectations and be aware that the tingle in your spine you are chasing is probably no longer there; it was with you all along.