Lately I’ve been feeling very nostalgic, looking back on memories I haven’t thought about in years. It started about a week ago when I found a Cabbage Patch rabbit named Ellen that I’ve had my entire life and I was trying to remember what color she used to be because she’s gray now. Thinking about that made me remember how my Nana had bought me her little brother Brett as a way to replace Ellen- which failed- and then it made me think about my Nana and how attached to her I was when I was younger. I would sleep in her bed with her and I remembered that I had stopped at one point for a few months because a bat had gotten into her room and I was frightened it would happen again. But I can’t remember what exactly made me stop sleeping in her bed in the end, which made me remember that I can’t remember what my last words were to her before she passed away eight years ago.
Then about two-three nights ago I was on YouTube listening to songs I had loved between the ages of twelve-fourteen- especially fourteen because that was my freshman year of high school- and some of them were so bad they were laughable! And at fourteen those were the songs that ruled my teenage years because they had so much meaning to me. Now I’m older and different, so those songs meanings have changed to me as well.
Looking back, I realized just how much those forgotten memories and those songs shaped me into who I am today. Each of those moments and songs that were once my world changed, just like I have. I realized that sometimes in order to move forward and grow, we have to look back and see just how far we’ve come. When I was thirteen-fourteen I truly considered myself ‘Young and Hopeless’ (a Good Charlotte reference), and now ten-eleven years later I consider myself ‘Young and Hopeful’, something I never imagined myself feeling when I was younger. I know I have a long way to go with my life and my writing, but looking back and knowing how far I’ve come with both has helped me realize that no matter how bad things get, I am able to get through anything.
I want to end this post with a short quote from Nikki Sixx’s book This Is Gonna Hurt that really stood out to me and I feel speaks to this post. “I am not my past but my past is me”- Nikki Sixx.
I am also curious to know how any of you have used nostalgia in either your writing or with personal self-reflection. I’m looking forward to your responses!